Drawn mainly from the Museum’s extensive collection of African art, this exhibition showcases garments, accessories, and textiles made from the woven fibers of raffia palm leaves from West and Central Africa and the island of Madagascar. Raffia was once one of the most common textile fibers on the continent, before the introduction of imported cotton fabric. Exploring the ingenious use of this vital material, Wearable Raffia from Africa highlights 15 works of art from several groups across four African countries, including the Bamileke (Cameroon), Dida (Côte d’Ivoire), Kuba, Suku, and Teke (Democratic Republic of the Congo), and the Merina (Madagascar).
Admission is FREE.
Images: Kuba peoples, man's hat (laket), 20th century, raffia and brass, collection of Michael and Shelly Dee; Dida peoples, prestige panel, first half of 20th century, raffia, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc., 2005.5.McD; Kuba peoples, Bushoong group, overskirt with wavy edge (ntshakakot), early 20th century, palm leaf fiber (raffia), cotton, wool, and vegetal fiber, Dallas Museum of Art, Textile Purchase Fund, 2005.41; Madagascar, shawl (lambda akotifahana), c. 1930, raffia, natural dye, cotton, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Philip Henderson and anonymous donors in memory of Jerry Jane Henderson, 2018.43; Suku peoples, prestige cap (mpwa), mid-20th century, raffia with dye, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Karen and John Reoch, 2011.1.1; Kuba peoples, monochromatic skirt with appliqué, early 20th century, palm-leaf fiber (raffia), Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc, 1984.160.McD