African Textiles (Hardcover)
A landmark volume on one of the world’s major art forms, and an important influence on contemporary fashion
The African continent is home to numerous outstanding textile traditions, many dating to antiquity and all playing a multifaceted role in their respective societies: these eye-catching fabrics proclaim wealth and status, convey symbolic meanings, and of course serve a practical function in garments both ordinary and exceptional. This magnificent book conveys the amazing diversity of African textiles, from the geometric-patterned kente cloths of Ghana, to the multicolor raffia skirts of the Democratic Republic of Congo, to the beaded barkcloths once reserved for Ugandan royalty.
The authors, all leading experts in the field, examine each region of sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar in turn, elucidating the aesthetic qualities, cultural significance, and production methods of the most important textile traditions. Their authoritative text is illustrated with over 300 superlative textiles from public and private collections, many reproduced as full-page plates that allow the reader to appreciate each individual fiber.
This impressive clothbound volume will be a key reference for students and scholars, an essential sourcebook for designers, and a delight for all art lovers.
Vanessa Drake Moraga is an independent scholar, textile dealer, and author of Weaving Abstraction: Kuba Textiles and the Woven Art of Central Africa.
Sarah Fee is a curator of global fashion and textiles at Royal Ontario Museum, and has authored many articles on Malagasy textiles.
MabatNgoup Ly Dumas textile collector and multitalented artist, is one of the queen mothers of Western Cameroon. To highlight African textile creativity and to bring recognition to their intrinsic value, she developed her fashion brand Ly Dumas (1990–2003) and organized events such as Les magiciens du fil for UNESCO (1999) and Ly Dumas and Friends, a fashion show during the Boubou c’est chic exhibition in 2002 at Musée National des Arts Africains et Océaniens in Paris. During the same year, in Bangoulap, Cameroon, she established the Fondation Jean-Félicien Gacha, an NGO dedicated to supporting education, handicrafts, social initiatives, the environment, and solidarity tourism. She has authored Perles couleurs d’Afrique (ed. Gourcuff Granedigo) and Ndop: Etoffes des cours royales et sociétés secretes du Cameroun.
— New York Times
Explores the astonishingly diverse textile traditions of sub-Saharan Africa.
— Wall Street Journal
Visually stunning. . . [This] book is not only a fascinating record of African artistry but also a plea for its protection.
— Interior Design
Continental in scope and rich in illustration, this volume is a tour-de-force survey of Africa's textile traditions. Readers will walk away dazzled by the artistry and with a thirst for even more information about these important artistic practices.
— Kevin Tervala, Ph.D., Associate Curator of African and Oceanic Art, The Baltimore Museum of Art