shawl; wrap; commemorative object; skirt

Printed textile decorated with the ANC logo on a yellow background, and a black-and-white portrait of Nelson Mandela, the former president of South Africa, on a green background. An inscription across the top reads 'A BETTER LIFE FOR ALL - WORKING TOGETHER FOR JOBS, PEACE AND FREEDOM'.

This is a commemorative cloth bearing the image of Nelson Mandela with the logo, and in the colours, of the African National Congress (ANC). The ANC came to power in South Africa's first democratic election and Mandela was the first democratically elected president from 1994 - 1999 after having served a 27-year prison sentence under the apartheid government. Prior to 1990, images of Mandela were banned in South Africa. The same design is used in cloths commemorating Mandela's successors, Thabo Mbeki and the current president, Jacob Zuma. Such printed cloths may be used at events such as political rallies and worn by women as wrap around skirts or shawls. See Tropenmuseum Amsterdam for three examples of the same pattern cloth (accession numbers 6369-3, 6129-1 and R-856a). The British Museum has a Jacob Zuma cloth (2008,2012.16) recently included on Social fabric: African textiles today--textiles of southern and eastern Africa an exhibition held at the British Museum from 14 February-21 April 2013. References: (accessed 8 May 2013) See Faber, 2010 for further reading.

Collection Information

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