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Wooden Strip Loom Reed Beater
Baule People, Ivory Coast
early 20th century

length: 20cm, width: 21cm

This reed beater from a strip loom from the Baule People of the Ivory Coast is made of wooden frame and wood slithers and is held together by what is likely to
be hand-fashioned iron nails.

It has excellent wear and patina: the surface has much 'depth' from years of use and handling.

It would have been used in the weaving of long, thin strips of cloth that were then sewn together, selvedge to selvedge, to make a larger, more useful piece of
cloth.   It was used to push the weft yarn into place as it was woven. It also separated the warp threads and held them untangled and in their positions.

A similar example is illustrated in Ginzberg (2000, p. 275).

The example here is stable, without losses, and a fine patina. It is decorative and sculptural.

References:
Gillow, J.,
African Textiles: Colour and Creativity Across a Continent, Thames & Hudson, 2003.
Ginzberg, M.,
African Forms, Skira, 2000.

Provenance: UK art market

Inventory no.: 3576

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