- Museum number
Marriage wall-hanging, hand-woven tapestry type piece. The piece is rectangular and composed of eleven narrow strips hand-sewn together selvedge to selvedge. Warp is made of white cotton threads. Weft is made of industrial white cotton threads and black, yellow, red and green synthetic wool threads. Supplementary weft work is made of black, yellow, and red synthetic wool threads.
The piece is executed in plain-weaving with the motifs made in supplementary weft work. The strips end in loose warp threads. The background of the piece is white. The decoration is organised in black and coloured bands with transverse continued weft-faced arrangement, symmetrically displayed.
In the centre of the piece is a composition organised on both sides of a narrow band with a black background made in supplementary weft-work using synthetic wool, with a border of black and white squares and bars, and a central design in the form of a lozenge formed by a series of white, yellow and red ovals. Symmetrically displayed on both sides from the central black band is a succession of narrow plain-weave yellow, green and red bands (the latter decorated with un-worked yellow, black and red wool threads), and a white band decorated with black lozenge and bars made in supplementary weft-work, followed by plain weave black, white, green, red and black bands.
Symmetrically displayed from the central composition is a succession of a white background band decorated with black lozenges followed by a black-background band with a chess-board decoration and green, yellow, red and black borders. The chess-board band is followed by a succession of white background bands decorated with lozenges and triangles, and of plain-weave white, red and black bands.
Towards both ends of the piece is a composition repeating the central composition, less a plain-weave green band. Between those compositions and the end of the piece are two black parallel bars.
The two strips have more simplified decoration of mostly plain-weave coloured bands and bars. A black band close to the centre is decorated with a chess-board style lozenge made of white, red and black squares.
- Production date
- Curator's comments
- The piece is used by the Songhay people in Timbuktu as a decorative wall-hanging or to be folded and placed in a pile with other woven pieces to decorate the bed. It is a variation of the "sakalaare" design (originally a design made by the maabo who are the weavers of the Fulbe) made by the songhay weavers - "maale" - in Timbuktu. It combines some of the typical motifs of the traditional sakalaare with the colours of the Malian flag (green, yellow and red). In between is inserted the motif "njowaka" (lozendge and bars), which is typical of the "kaasa jowaka" of the Fulbe.
The piece is woven on a double-heddle narrow strip loom. The whole textile is woven from one continuous warp strip. Each strip is designed in order to match with the strips next to it in order to form the overall design. The weaver plans in advance the designs of each strip according to the desired overall design and length. The motifs are formed by the various different colours of weft threads and types of weft-work. During the weaving process a short length of un-worked warp threads is left between the edges of the adjacent strips to mark the intervals. After the weaving the strips will be separated by cutting the woven piece in the un-worked intervals, and then they will be assembled together by sewing them selvedge to selvedge.
The use of synthetic wool is an innovation which was introduced by the central delta weavers in the 1990s, showing their ability to technically integrate and adapt new fibres.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Purchased in London from Mr Hervé Derrien.
- Africa, Oceania and the Americas
- Registration number