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Eicher African Textile Collection

Photographs from the African textile collection of Joanne B. Eicher, Regents Professor Emerita at the University of Minnesota in the department of Design, Housing, and Apparel from her fieldwork in Nigeria and elsewhere. These images represent a large, perhaps one of the largest private collections of West African textiles, primarily Nigerian, in the United States. Featured textile types are adire (resist-dyed fabric primarily produced in western Nigeria), akwete (cloth hand-woven on a vertical loom by women in the SE part of Nigeria), wax print (commercially woven and printed cloth originally manufactured in England, the Netherlands and Switzerland, and now produced in China), along with some local West African production. One specialty of the collection is pelete bite (cut-thread cloth, made of Indian madras by the Kalabari in the Niger Delta region). Other textile examples include the narrow band aso oke of the Yoruba people in Nigeria, along with some selected pieces from Sierra Leone, Senegal, Ghana, the Ivory Coast, and Republic of Benin. For a more detailed account of how Joanne B. Eicher turned her fascination with textiles into an academic pursuit, please read Joanne's paper, "Reflecting on Collecting: My Romance with African Textiles" from the Textile Society of America's 2014 symposium.