IN: Indianapolis

Man’s trousers, 1940-1970, cotton, wool threads, Nigeria, Hausa people.

Man’s trousers, 1940-1970, cotton, wool threads, Nigeria, Hausa people.

WHERE: Indianapolis Museum of Art.

WHEN: On view through March, 2, 2014 in the Gerald and Dorit Paul Galleries.

TITLE: Majestic African Textiles

BRIEF ABOUT: More than 60 pieces, this exhibit celebrates the prestige and significance of these prized cloths in their respective cultures, featuring a superb presentation of the woven arts of the diverse African textile producing cultures of Morocco, Tunisia, Nigeria, Ghana, Mali, Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia and South Africa.

     “The IMA’s long history of collecting African works of art has resulted in one of the finest and most comprehensive collections in the United States,” said Dr. Charles L. Venable, the Melvin & Bren Simon Director and CEO of the IMA. “We are excited to present these stunning textiles that will illuminate the many cultures of Africa through the weavers’ art.”

     Representing many African ethnic groups and organized geographically, the exhibition also includes the following highlights:

   African Textiles  (1) An elaborately tailored and embroidered Nigerian man’s drawstring trousers with wide waist bands that serve as a prestige garment among the Hausa, Nupe and other northern Nigerian men.

     (2) An exquisitely beaded royal Nigerian ceremonial tunic made of panels of imported velvet and wool. The beaded patterns are executed in a variety of designs including medals, crowns, faux epaulettes, flowers and faces of Yoruba royal ancestors.

     (3) Several examples of the colorful strip-woven cloths of the Asante and Ewe peoples of Ghana, popularly known as kente.

     (4) A recently acquired, rare warrior’s tunic from Ghana laden with a number of amulets that contained protective powers. Hunters, warriors and soldiers who often had dangerous professions wore garments that were either painted with protective verses or adorned with objects that were believed to have magical powers.

MORE DETAILS: Call 317.923.1331 or see

Published by on May 2013. Filed under Archives, Art-to-Art Palette NewsWire/AAPNW, At the Museums dept, Indiana, PaletteBoards Section. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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