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Catalog Data

Asante artist  Search this
Cotton, indigo dye, natural dye
H x W: 213.4 x 132 cm (84 x 51 15/16 in.)
Costume and Textile
Bonwire, Ghana
Before 1971
Label Text:
This man's wrapper is handsewn of sixteen strips in checkered and striped motif with four different warp stripes. In West Africa, cloth is made of wool, cotton or silk, or combinations of these materials. Woven on narrow strip looms, they are then hand or machine-sewn together to create large wrappers, cloths or blankets with patterns dyed or woven into the fabric.
Compared with the predominance of white in previous examples, the basic tonality of this cloth is dark blue. White weft bands, narrow stripes and small checks create accents. Groups of bands range diagonally across the cloth without falling into a checkerboard arrangement. Although at first this composition appears to be regular, there are subtle variations within the design structure.
Asante weavers, famous for their bright silk kente cloths, also created cloths with sophisticated patterns in less costly dark blue and white cotton. These cloths are commissioned for ceremonial occasions and their patterns reflect the patron's personal taste and current fashion.
Men's wrapper composed of sixteen strips with four different warp stripes, handsewn at the selvedges. The overall design is narrow stripes, small checks, and broader stripes in dark blue, white and light blue.
Venice and Alastair Lamb, England, purchased in Bonwire, Ghana, 1971 to 1985
Exhibition History:
Wrapped in Pride: Ghanaian Kente and African American Identity, Newark Museum, September 15, 1998-January 3, 1999; National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., September 12, 1999-January 2, 2000; Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, May 13-July 30, 2000; Anchorage Museum of History and Art, November 19, 2000-February 25, 2001; Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, April 14-July 15, 2001; Oakland Museum of California, October 13, 2001-January 15, 2002; Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University, Atlanta, February 23-June 16, 2002
Patterns of Life: West African Strip-Weaving Traditions, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., September 28, 1987-February 29, 1988
Published References:
Gilfoy, Peggy. 1987. Patterns of Life: West African Strip Weaving Traditions. Washington, D.C.: National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, p. 73, no. 22.
Ross, Doran H. 1998. Wrapped in Pride. Los Angeles: Fowler Museum of Cultural History, University of California, p. 292, no. 2.
Status  Search this
Adornment  Search this
Male use  Search this
geometric motif  Search this
male  Search this
Credit Line:
National Museum of African Art, National Museum of Natural History, purchased with funds provided by the Smithsonian Collections Acquisition Program, 1983-85, EJ10565
Object number:
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
National Museum of African Art Collection
Data Source:
National Museum of African Art