textile; textile (function unknown)

A large, cotton textile made from 17 narrow strips of striped woven fabric, known in Sierra Leone as country cloth. The pattern is an alternating natural cream and a natural brown stripe. The strips are hand sewn together along the selvedges. Both warp and weft are loosely spun singles; the warp ends are unfinished.

An example of Sierra Leonean country cloth, made using natual dyes. These thick heavy textiles were traditionally made from locally grown cotton, collected by women and spun into thread and dyed by men. Men were also the main weavers, and would have used a tripod loom in this case to create a series of 17 strips which were then sewn together edge to edge to create a larger cloth with a more complex pattern. County cloths have been recorded as being used as trade items, worn as part of elite ceremonial dress, as well as burial shrouds (plain white).

Collection Information

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