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Kente Cloth Pillow Green African 22 x 22 inch
Pillow made with a vintage Kente cotton handwoven textile from Ghana. The black fabric is a 100% polyester suede. Pillow insert has a cotton cover, and polyester fill. Zipper in the center back. Spot clean only, Kente colors may bleed. We do not recommend laundering textiles, and do not accept returns of textiles which have been laundered in any manner.  Even dry cleaning is too much for some of these antique textiles.  For some of them, a very gentle HAND washing  (NEVER MACHINE, on any setting)  in cool water with a very gentle detergent works, but even then, dyes may not be colorfast, and fabric may be less strong than it appears. Africa Direct
Chamba or Yoruba Gong Set Currency Nigeria Africa
Additional Information: A confluence of obscure, small cultures have lived in this area since the Fulani expansions of the 17th and 18th centuries. Among them are the Chamba, Jukun, Mumuye, Montol, and Goemai. Though these metal objects can be traced to the area, it is not known for sure who produced them. Despite the fact that they are shaped like knives or sickles, they are thought to have been used as currency on special occasions, most likely in bridal negotiations. The arts of Northern Nigeria are among the strangest and most fascinating in all of Africa. The high degree of abstraction used on most objects has made them popular with collectors. Though most texts mention the peoples living in the area, there is little firm scholarship about them. Recommended Reading: See ART OF AFRICA, by Kerchache. Africa Direct
Tutsi Wood Container Rwanda Burundi African Art
Additional Information:  This cylindrical container was carved with great skill from wood.  Though simple in design wooden containers required skill to give shape this symmetrical form.  Among the Tutsi or any of the smaller pastoral groups in Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya and northern Tanzania wooden containers were used to collect milk, hold honey or carry food. As cattle herders milk and the blood of cattle served as drink for nutrition and ritual purposes for man's societies.  Containers either carved from wood or simple gourds were containers that could be easily capped to keep milk or food. Though this cylindrical container is undecorated other examples will have raised designs on the sides or will be engraved with different patterns. Though it is what might be considered to be a craft product, a simple container, it has a sense of design and a kind of utilitarian dignity that makes it a work of art reinforced by the smoothed and softly worn surface. Africa Direct
Kusu Ancestor Bearded Male Figure African Art
Additional Information:   This standing male figure comes from the Kusu people who today live on the Savannah in the southeast region of the Democratic of Congo along the Lualaba River. Broken into a number of chiefdoms, local Kusu styles of carving evolved sharing similarities but differing in details of sculpting and in the use of body marking and showing the strong influence of their Songye and Hemba neighbors in overall style. Rather than a magical figure, this is an ancestor figure. Kusu magical figures would have holes carved in either their abdomen or heads to contain the magic needed to energize the figure. Ancestor figures are simples and don't have attached materials or charges. The different between these two categories are sometimes difficult to establish besides their visual aspects. Ancestor figures were used to commemorate former leaders of lineages and chefs of lands. These figures were placed on family shrines where offering and praises were conducted. The hands placed on the abdomen is a typical male position found among the Hemba and Songye as well as the Kusu. The surface of this figure shows evidence of  use through handling and some age..   Africa Direct
Lega Bwami Woven Hat DR Congo African
Additional Information: Lega hat shells, impored buttons, vegetal material. Lega hats reveal status among the Bwami secret society which governs most of Lega life. Animals are important in Bwami symbolism, and elephant, pangolin, and hornbill all represent different levels of Bwami. Imported buttons are sometime added. All these elements help identify the owner. For a fascinating article with numerous examples, see Elizabeth Cameron's article on Lega Hats in Arnoldi and Kreamer's CROWNING ACHIEVEMENTS-AFRICAN ARTS OF DRESSING THE HEAD. I have examined this piece and agree with the description Niangi Batulukisi, Ph.D. Africa Direct
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