Although there are some missing strips and neat patched repairs this is a very attractive example of a rare style, with a very fine central pattern block and deep rich indigo blue colour. White Dioula type patterning on a dark blue hand spun indigo dyed cotton ground was typical of this obscure genre of Ivoirian chiefs cloths. Four rows of simple white weft float motifs, along with a fringe of unwoven warps and small tassels, mark each end of the cloth, with a square block at the centre built up from the white squares of varied float motifs. A white warp stripe along the selvedge of each strip is also found on most but not all pieces in this style. While we can say that this cloth reflects Dioula origins, Dioula men, as Muslims, wore tailored robes rather than wrapped cloths. Weavers produced cloths for both local patrons from other ethnic groups in the communities where they lived and in some case were themselves long distance cloth traders. In the colonial period their routes were able to extend into the southern forest belt. The limited evidence we have suggests this style was woven for chiefs among the Gouro people, perhaps by Gouro weavers as well as Dioula.
Measurement: 108 inches x 53ins, 274 cm x 135 cm.
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