FR566 – Throughout the northern half of Côte D’Ivoire a number of weaving traditions have emerged over past centuries largely, it would seem, as a result of long interaction between various peoples, the best known of which are the Baule, Senufo, and Guro, and groups of traders, warriors, and Islamic scholars of Malian origin who are today known as Dioula or Dyula. The Dioula both wove and traded in cloth for their own use and to supply various needs of people they lived among and with whom they traded. One of the consequences of this interaction was the emergence of various styles of thick, quite small, hand spun cotton cloths that clearly owe their original inspiration to indigo and white “blanket” prototypes that may still be found in Mali but have distinctive variations in terms of layout and or elaboration of pattern. This very rare cloth is one such piece, with a layout marked by three rows of contiguous blocks of blue at each end, and in the field of the cloth an alternation between the strips of three narrow blocks with coloured borders and two wider blocks with simple extra weft float motifs. The closest parallel to this one that I have been able to locate is in the Musee du Quai Branly, Paris and may be seen on my Pinterest site here. There is also an 8 strip cloth with a similar layout in the national Museum of Natural History, Washington (#NMNH-T701-P1020260). I have tried to group other cloths from the same wider tradition, most from the same museum collection, within the group I have posted on Pinterest. Unfortunately most lack satisfactory collection dates or provenances and in the absence of any field research on textiles in the region we cannot say to what extent the variations we can observe in the few surviving examples reflect regional variations, differences between uses, or even between different weavers and their workshops. In excellent complete condition. Dates from earlyC20th.
Measurement: 75 inches x 41 ins, 192cm x 104cm
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