Wednesday, 16 July 2014

African Textiles in New York

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A selection of Ewe and Asante kente cloths, Fante Asafo flags, and Yoruba adire cloths from our collection can now be viewed by appointment in New York at Tikhonova & Wintner Fine Art, 40 West 120th St. 2nd Floor, New York.  Visit their website for more details and information on their exhibition program.

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Thursday, 10 July 2014

Exhibition: "Couleurs de vie, vie en couleurs" at Casa Africa, Nantes – some views.

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Click on the photos to enlarge. Thanks to Anne Grosfilley for the photographs. For more details of the xhibition and the catalogue please visit the website.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Senegalese Women, circa 1930s. Vintage postcard.

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Vintage postcard, author’s collection. Photographer and publisher unknown.

Côte D'Ivoire Textiles Page on Pinterest

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I have recently begun an additional page on my Pinterest site covering a curated selection of textiles from Côte D'Ivoire. View and follow our Pinterest site here.

Friday, 20 June 2014

Another Yoruba Weaver.

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A second Ifa divination cup with a representation of a treadle loom weaver. Present location unknown. Thanks to Bernhard Gardi for the photographs.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

New Exhibition: “Couleurs de Vie” at Casa Africa/Espace Cosmopolis , Nantes.

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“Exposition "Couleurs de vie, vie en couleurs"

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En Afrique, peut-être plus qu’ailleurs, les tissus racontent des histoires, petites et grandes. Celles des échanges Europe, Afrique, Asie, celles des femmes et des hommes qui les portent. Alors que pour un regard non initié, le wax est simplement un tissu aux couleurs chatoyantes, il est, pour l’œil averti, un "alphabet du corps" : par exemple, le pagne ''Ton pied mon pied'' revendique l’égalité entre l’homme et la femme ou celui représentant une main avec des pièces de monnaie illustre que l’union fait la force. Les tissus se font langage imaginaire, quotidien, commémoratif, sociétal, politique ou religieux. Expositions, films, défilés, ateliers proposés par la Casa Africa Nantes permettront de décrypter ces messages.”

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“Expo Wax

Cette exposition présentée a pour but de montrer la richesse des textiles africains. Au sein des sociétés africaines modernes, le wax perpétue un ancrage identitaire traditionnel et il est aussi un support de communication. Les tissus racontent des histoires et nous les aborderons sous plusieurs axes : le langage imaginaire, quotidien, commémoratif, sociétal, politique ou religieux. Ils offriront au grand public des clés de compréhension des textiles imprimés en wax et aux populations issues du continent africain un espace de valorisation et d’expression de leurs cultures d'origine.”

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“Wax Dolls: Omar Victor Diop”  and more.

Full details here.

Friday, 13 June 2014

A Yoruba Ifa Diviner’s Bowl.

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A few months ago I posted a photo of this unusual object I had noticed pictured in a dealer’s advertisement in an early issue of African Arts magazine. As I noted at the time depictions of any form of artistic activity are extremely rare in Yoruba ritual sculpture and I know of only one other depiction of a weaver –  another Ifa diviner’s bowl, that one showing a woman weaving on a vertical loom, in the Ethnographic Museum in Berlin. I have now found the bowl listed in the collection of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, online here, from which these three photographs are taken.

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As these photos show it is a surprisingly accurate depiction of a Yoruba aso oke weaver at work. Note that it is miscataloged as a “kola nut presentation bowl” – actually it is in the standard form of bowl’s once used by Yoruba Ifa diviners, babalawo, as a prestige holder for the 16 sacred palm nuts that they used to cast divination signs.

Incidentally, the same museum has some very early and interesting West African textiles in it’s collection, many of which may now be viewed online. I will be discussing some of these in  future posts.