textile (function unknown); textile

A large, cotton textile made from 17 narrow strips of striped woven fabric, known in Sierra Leone as country cloth. Plan examples such as this are known locally as kula gulei. The pattern is an alternating thin stripes, likely acheived by weaving in alternating machine and locally spun yarns. The macheice woven yarns were somtimes aquited by unravelling imported cloth. 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, possibly intended to be used as a burial shorud. 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 to create a series of 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, which are often plain white as in this example.

Collection Information

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