Ukara Indigo Cloth, Nigeria


Fine  mid C20th indigo resist dyed ukara cloth from eastern Nigeria.

1 in stock


AD321 –  Although sometimes confused with Yoruba adire cloths, these  distinctive resist dyed indigo fabrics are from the far eastern edge of Nigeria  along the Calabar river that borders Cameroon and they actually have closer affinities with the well known ndop tradition of that country in that the resist pattern is created by sewing a thick twine of raffia tightly to the white cotton ground so that the indigo dye is kept away from the surface. Quite thin imported cotton shirting cloth forms the ground. Called ukara, they are associated with important “secret” societies called Ekpe among the Efik people and neighbouring ethnic groups. The designs relate to the pattern of leopard skin and include symbols from an Efik script called nsibidi. Older examples such as this are quite hard to find. Dates from circa 1950 and is in excellent condition.

Measurements: 91 ins x 61, 231 cms x 155.

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.)

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