African Costumes and Textiles: From the Berbers to the Zulus

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9788874394760: African Costumes and Textiles: From the Berbers to the Zulus

Celebrating African costumes and textiles, this volume draws on historical and modern pieces from the Zaira and Marcel Mis Collection. The extraordinary works presented exemplify the craftsmanship of highly skilled African weavers and provide insight into the lives and culture of various ethnic groups.

Whether the materials used are wool, cotton, silk, raffia, or bark, the patterns the weavers produce are predominantly geometric and abstract, but highly stylized figurative motifs are also found. The designs frequently illustrate excerpts from historical or mythical stories.

The book presents a breathtaking variety of costumes, textiles, and accessories used for everyday wear and for special celebrations, and explores the different techniques, influences, and meanings behind these colorful works of art. The essays describe the history of the development of these techniques and the richness of the symbolism in this form of cultural heritage. The superb photography showcases the splendor of these intricate and exquisite textiles.

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About the Author:

Anne-Marie Bouttiaux is chief curator of the Ethnography Department at the of the Royal Museum of Central Africa in Tervuren, Belgium. She is the editor of the Visions of Africa series published by 5 Continents.

John Mack, the former director of the Museum of Mankind and head of the Ethnographic Department at the British Museum in London, has since written extensively on African art and on art as a world-wide phenomenon. His most recent book is The Art of Small Things (2007).

Frieda Sorber, the curator of the Provincial Museum of Costume and Textiles in Antwerp, has written several books on the textile traditions of Morocco and the Near and Far East, including Asian Costumes and Textiles.

Anne van Cutsem-Vanderstraete is an art historian and the author of several publications on ethnic costume.

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