Old Fine Dida Tie-Dye Raffia – Ceremonial Woman’s Tube Dress – Cote d’Ivoire

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Old Fine Dida Tie-Dye Raffia – Ceremonial Woman’s Tube Dress – Cote d’Ivoire

Without fringes, approx. 75,0 x cm. 50,0 (29.53″ x 19.69″).

These textiles are quite rare, and on the wish list of many museums because they are no longer made. Mostly used for ceremonial dances, the gauzy, vibrantly colored fabric is made of raffia palm fiber that is then tied and resist-dyed and re-dyed in a striking pattern of rectangles, ovals and circles. The palette of yellow, red and black is derived from plant roots, leaves and minerals.

The woman’s cloth is tubular and created in an astonishing technique by which the raffia fibers (as many as 1500) are tied into a bunch, tacked to a tree and then split into groups of fifty fibers. Half the groups will form the warp and half the weft and, in the absence of a loom, the weaver controls the groups with her hands and feet.

For similar examples and further information see: African Textiles by John Gillow.

 

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