Creating and trading numerous types of cloth have been vital elements in African life and culture for at least two millennia, linking different parts of the continent with each other and the rest of the world. "African Textiles Today" shows how ideas, techniques, materials and markets have adapted and flourished, and how the dynamic traditions in African textiles have provided inspiration for the continents foremost contemporary artists and photographers.
Chris Spring is curator of the African collection at the British Museum. He is the author of numerous books on African art and culture, including African Arms and Armour, North African Textiles, and African Art in Detail.
In this exciting work, Spring (British Museum), an active artist and curator of the British Museum’s African galleries, draws from that institution’s collections to present African textile expression “as a cyclical phenomenon in which past, present, and future are inextricably intertwined.” Across the continent’s many cultures, the author traces themes of communication, systems of belief, trade, and cultural exchange, national identity, power and status, empowerment, and the historical groundings of contemporary art through the “dynamic and fluid medium” of cloth.
An excellent overview of the meanings and uses of textiles from all regions of the continent. Accompanied by color photographs of materials from the British Museum's collection, the text explains the various roles textiles play in African cultures