Africa Interweave:
Textile Diasporas

Susan Cooksey


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"Demonstrates the continuity of textile traditions in new, innovative forms that, in some cases, have not been exhibited in the UnitedStates or acquired by U.S. museums. Student involvement provided an opportunity for the [Harn] to gain access to works that no one else could provide."--Rebecca Nagy, director, Harn Museum of Art

This book celebrates an exciting exhibition at the University of Florida's Harn Museum of Art that features contemporary and traditional African textiles. The more than fifty objects on display as part of Africa Interweave include five newly commissioned works. The commissions, many arranged by students conducting fieldwork in countries across the continent, include an embroidered woman's cotton robe with traditional embroidery patterns in silk from Mali, a kente cloth commemorating a visit to Ghana by Bill Clinton in 2009, and an Ebonko masquerade ensemble from Nigeria.

This accompanying volume, overseen by curator Susan Cooksey, offers in-depth essays on such topics as the trade routes for indigo, kente and other African-print commemorative cloth, cheiftancy dress and masquerades, Asafo flags, the emergence of the East African kanga, and much more. This volume is an essential introduction to both the diversity of local production and aesthetics, as well as the global influence on regional ideas, materials, and techniques.

Africa Interweave: Textile Diasporas, appeared at the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art February 8-May 8, 2011. The future travel schedule for the exhibition has not yet been finalized.

Susan Cooksey is curator of African Art at the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art.

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"With beautiful high quality illustrations of diverse textiles from across the continent, Africa Interweave intersects with several key current discourses on African art, including those on contemporary art and others on networks of exchange." "….this catalogue honor[s] the dynamic persistence of textiles and textile traditions in Africa by recognizing them as truly grand monuments." H-Net Reviews

“A beautifully illustrated catalog consisting of essays springing from across the African continent and interspersed throughout with full color photographs and plates… an example of excellent collaborative scholarship.” African Arts Autumn

A significant and rare glimpse into fiver arts across the continent and its diaspora.-- Museum Anthropology Review

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