Nineteenth Century Ijebu Aso Olona

NW560 – Very rare early version of an Ijebu Yoruba Aso Olona cloth, dating from the later part of the nineteenth century.

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Description

Very rare early version of an Ijebu Yoruba Aso Olona cloth, dating from the later part of the nineteenth century. We can distinguish this as an early piece by the wool fringe along the lower edge and the narrow lines in which black cotton warps alternate with the regular white hand spun cotton at each edge of the four panels.  Imported wool is used along with indigo hand spun cotton for the elaborate supplementary weft float motifs. Woven by Ijebu Yoruba women in the town of Ijebu-Ode and its surroundings, these extraordinary cloths are used as insignia of office by Ijebu chiefs and members of a society known as Ogboni (which in the past had responsibilities for the worship of the Earth deity and advised the king.) The designs represent various important spirit familiars including frogs, crocodiles etc. Condition – this early cloth has signs of wear, including three tiny patched holes.

Measurements: 86ins x 73, 219cm x 187.

Also shown is a classic photo taken by Bill Fagg in the 1950s showing the senior members of the Oshugbo (Ogboni) society in the town of Ijebu-Igbo. An aso olona cloth hangs behind them as a backdrop, while two others are worn by the two seated men at the left . Source: Picton & Mack “African Textiles” (British Museum Press, 1989)

All items on this site are vintage. That means that they may have a few small marks or blemishes consistent with use. We will try to highlight any significant issues in the description above but in the event you are not happy with your purchase please notify us within 48 hours of receipt and you may return it for a full refund (excluding return shipping costs.)