lundi 26 mai 2008

The fabric of life...

If you have ever been in West Africa, you know "wax" fabric well.
It's in every market and adorning many women and men,
particularly at special occasions.
"Wax" refers to the manufacturing process,
(not the texture of the fabric)
But, did you know...

The *Akan of Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire use cloth
not only for personal adornment ,
but also, metaphorically,
as a powerful expressive medium of communication...

The Akan cloths include the screen and block-printed *adinkra,
the hand-woven *kente, the appliqued *akunintam and *asafo flags,
and the factory-made Java and *wax prints, shown here
Among the Akan, the messages one conveys in the print
cloth one wears
are likely to say something about one's identity,
beliefs, or set of values.
The wax and non-wax print cloths are used indexically
for religious themes, renowned individuals, historical occasions,
popular songs and religious hymns, and everyday situations.
They are also used to state proverbs and metaphors...
Some wax and non-wax prints combine written proverbs with visual
forms to express certain Akan beliefs, values, and social relations.
Sometimes it is simply the visual form on the cloth
that elicits the spoken proverb.
Besides using the surface of the cloth to convey messages,
either through written or representational imagery,
Akan woman's dress designers
also shape the garment itself
to convey some messages.
The manner in which the cloth is worn
can also be used for very expressive communication...
*For definitions and more information
checkout my source :

3 commentaires:

Drowsey Monkey a dit…

Beautiful! That little girl is adorable, what a smile :) I love the patterns, and I'd never heard about this before, thanks!

Shashi Nayagam a dit…

Thanks for sharing the pictures. Oh yes African prints are so beautiful and colourful. Love the little girl picture.

Charlie a dit…

Thanks for your interest in our African craft project, India J. Really appreciate your offer to blog about it. It would be great if the ladies could start getting commissions of work as soon as possible - as you can see, they're very good!