Fine prestige Ewe kente woman’s cloth circa 1950
A very bright and vibrant cloth the product of a master weaver, probably a commission for a high status women or a chiefs wife. A cloth like this would have taken months to weave, each block is incredibly fine work and the whole is in perfect condition. A valuable cloth of great beauty, which would have been treasured by the wearer. Ordinary folks couldnt afford such finely worked woven cloths. It would have been a family heirloom.
129 cms x 216 cms
This has an unusual pattern layout that leaves a plain border at one end and
the lower edge of the completed cloth. The background is narrow warp stripes in orange, red, green,
blue, back, and white. The second strip up from the base has weft faced blocks, here in pairs buit up
from multiple narrow stripes, but no supplementary weft float motifs. The remainder of the cloth adds
pairs of matched supplementary weft float motifs between the weft faced blocks. Two distinct registers
are created by pairing white motifs and pairing orange motifs. In a few places this design schema is
broken up by unmatched motifs or changes in colour. Here again we see a master weaver setting out
design parameters and modifying or improvising around them as weaving progresses. There are theories that the images are a language created for the occaision or about the family that has commissioned the cloth. There are birds, hands, hearts, plants, fish and combs and others.