Akwete Women's Weaving Cooperative Nigerian

Not on view

This wrapper has been hand-woven on the traditional Igbo Akwete woman’s vertical loom with machine spun cotton yarns. As is usual on Akwete cloths, the design motifs in this example are created by a supplementary weft structure on a warp-face plain-weave ground. The surface is divided into two fields of black square-looking rectangles surrounded by a border of orange, black, and white bands and stripes. The center of alternating black rectangles is filled with a single motif declined in a range of color including red, white, green, yellow, pink and blue. They could be described as purely geometric or as abstracted floral motifs and are arranged in a checkerboard pattern. The alternation of colors add to the cloth’s visual rhythm as they move one rectangle to the right in each succeeding row.

This work represents a classic textile genre designed, woven, and worn by Igbo women in one of Nigeria's premier centers for textile weaving. Textiles are one of the preeminent forms of visual expression in sub-Saharan Africa, and Akwete weavers have had an important impact on the region at large. Their frequently elaborate and complex supplementary weft-float patterns are of particular interest for their variety, incorporating abstract geometric and figurative motifs.

Wrapper, Akwete Women's Weaving Cooperative (Nigerian), Cotton, Igbo peoples

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