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Archive for January 12th, 2007

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Friday, January 12th, 2007

Have you seen For the Love of Yarn? I had not until today. Thanks to Damselfly/Louisa for the link in her blog.

The Yarn Museum

Friday, January 12th, 2007

I have too much time on my hands as I sit still healing. The cool thing is that today I’ve been surfing and finding amazing things.

During my surf experience. I found The Yarn Museum online. Their subtitle is “Honoring the Artistry and Beauty of Handspun Yarn.

The Inaugural exhibit is called Anything Goes. And darned if the seventh photo (out of what I think is 60 photos on 3 pages), is glorious ColorJoyful yarn spun by my friend Riin of Happy Fuzzy Yarns. Go, Riin!

Wow… Historical African Studio Photos

Friday, January 12th, 2007

I was looking for information on washing a Nigerian batik dress I own. I ended up with links to African textiles… and then I found a gallery of sixteen photos taken in Guinea in the early 1900’s. What a worthy distraction!

The fabrics and costuming are fascinating and varied. Some of the men wear european-styled hats, though the women wear one to three pieces of woven fabrics (sometimes one just draped on the lap, sometimes one on a shoulder). Some of the blouses/tops on the women look like something you might find in a US store today, and one woman wears no blouse at all.

There are many photos where folks are holding their walking sticks, enough that I surmise the sticks had meaning beyond helping someone walk. I wonder what the importance was.

The photos were taken in a studio which looks of European influence although the owner of the site assumes it was an early African photographer. At the time these were taken, the country was called French Guinea. According to Wikipedia, the country became independent in 1958.

The site also has another page talking about old African photo/postcards, and more images. The essay about the images is enlightening. Check out Images of African Leadership if you crave more. The second series includes some embroidered capes from Dakar.

Most of the images in this series are West African, and I only was in 3 countries of East Africa… but in Ethiopia we saw some old capes from old kings, that looked similar in style (though as I recall, more embellished) to these capes.

The site where these two exhibits were found is a commercial website called Adire African Textiles. I’m grateful. What a great way to spend time!

And if you have the leisure to learn more, visit the online exhibit “In and Out of Focus: Images from Central Africa 1885-1960.” This is housed on the site for the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution.