AS546 – A rare example of a very odd style of strip weave cloth that is worn as a kind of over cloth around the waist on ceremonial occasions by women of the Gwari people of central Nigeria. Until they were displaced from much of their land to make way for the construction of the new Nigerian capital at Abuja the Gwari were a remote and little studied group of farming people. They are probably best known for their pottery which received international attention in the 1970s. The cloth is woven from quite thick hand spun indigo dyed cotton with narrowly spaced rows of openwork. At irregular intervals these are broken up by a block of larger openwork patterning. Most strange however is that instead of sewing the strips together they are joined by a complex and to my knowledge unique “braiding” technique that creates a long open seam over a centimetre in width. This cloth dates from around 1920-40s. Condition excellent.
Measurements: 63 ins x 35, 160cm x 90cm.
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