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African Majesty: The Textile Art of the Ashanti Paperback – October, 1995

4.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson (October 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 050027844X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500278444
  • Product Dimensions: 12.1 x 9.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,547,482 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
African Majesty is the historical study of the weaving practiced by two separate West African tribes. Inhabiting the present day countries of Ghana and Togo, the weaving traditions of the Ashanti and Ewe have been traced from the writings of the European explorers of the 15th century.Their seemingly simple process is called "strip weaving". Strip weaving is the art of hand weaving narrow(3"-5")strips which are later hand sewn together into larger pieces to make the wearing cloth of both men and women. Intensely laborious but extremely portable, these combined strips are referred to in the West as "kente" cloth, a mixture of color and pattern which has been imitated in fabric prints. The team of Adler and Barnard, a textile scholar and a writer, has produced a magnificent collaboration which showcases this art. 131 color illustrations,including many full page plates, reveal the native use of intricate patterning and a wide range of colors. Each example is numbered and the patterns contained therein are named by their tribal name, translation, explanation of uses by particular segments of society and their place of origin. The pictured cloths are really incredible. Before reading this book I had dismissed this type of cloth as a hodgepodge of simple plain weave thrown together like a crazy quilt. Seeing the multitude of patterns and reading about the fine silk and cotton yarns employed has given me an appreciation for this painstaking craft. Barnard and Adler have compiled a wonderful book, enhanced by maps of the region, a glossary of African terms and a bibliography. Though even in the face of Western influence the simple everyday strip cloth material continues to be purchased and worn, it is the specially commissioned designs which are disappearing. Hopefully this book will attract a wide audience and stimulate demand by private collectors for this awesome handweaving.
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Format: Paperback
African Majesty: The Textile Art of the Ashanti and Ewe

by nicholas barnard ~ peter adler

Within the borders of present-day Ghana and Togo, there exists a tradition of weaving. Inspired by the demands of royalty and ceremony, the weavers of the Ashanti and Ewe tribes have created cloths that combine colour and pattern. Worn like the togas of ancient Rome, these textiles are made from narrow lengths of cotton or silk, first woven on small drag looms, then cut and sewn together. The bands of colour are often balanced and enhanced by the woven details of motifs, providing a vocabulary of information for the owner and the onlooker - an indication of prestige or rank, or as a reflection of the key elements of everyday life. Over 130 textiles are included in the book, together with full descriptions of each example. An historical survey, an explanation of the methods of weaving and the use of cloths, is also included. This text should appeal to anyone interested in textile history, in African culture, or in tribal art.
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Format: Hardcover
This book, about the magnificent textile tradition of the male Ashanti and Ewe weavers of Ghana and Togo, is filled with inspirational photos of cloths made of strips woven on narrow looms and then stitched together. The strip cloths show in this book are woven in silk; the authors say that the silk component of the industry is very small, and that most of the cloths are woven in cotton and other fibers. The design diversity created by the weavers is astounding, the quality of the weaving impeccable. I bought the book to serve as inspiration for quilt designs and it will serve that purpose admirably. Best of all, the book is still available at reasonable prices. Highly recommended.
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