Throughout the world, silk is used to make cloth and associated with wealth and status, but this rare, natural fiber is also indigenous to sub-Saharan Africa. Silk was traded between African peoples across the continent and was also imported from Europe, India, China, and the Middle East. This installation of cloths drawn from the DMA permanent collection explores the production of silk and silk textiles in Ghana, Nigeria, and Madagascar.
Admission is FREE.
Moth to Cloth: Silk in Africa is organized by the Dallas Museum of Art. The Dallas Museum of Art is supported, in part, by the generosity of DMA Members and donors, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Texas Commission on the Arts, and the citizens of Dallas through the City of Dallas Office of Arts and Culture.
Images: Robe for a male dignitary (boubou riga or agbada), Nigeria, Hausa peoples, late 19th century, cotton and wild silk, Dallas Museum of Art, Textile Purchase Fund, 2008.47; Man’s prestige wrapper, Ghana, Asante peoples, about 1920–30s, silk, Dallas Museum of Art, African Collection Fund, 2017.20.2; Lamba akotifahana, Madagascar, Malagasy peoples, Merino group, mid- to late 19th century, silk, Dallas Museum of Art, Textile Purchase Fund, 2019.75