by Peter Adler
Within the borders of present-day Ghana and Togo, there exists a tradition of weaving. Inspired by the demands of royalty and ceremony, the weavers of the Ashanti and Ewe tribes have created cloths that combine colour and pattern. Worn like the togas of ancient Rome, these textiles are made from narrow lengths of cotton or silk, first woven on small drag looms, then cut and sewn together. The bands of colour are often balanced and enhanced by the woven details of motifs, providing a vocabulary of information for the owner and the onlooker - an indication of prestige or rank, or as a reflection of the key elements of everyday life. Over 130 textiles are included in the book, together with full descriptions of each example. An historical survey, an explanation of the methods of weaving and the use of cloths, is also included. This text should appeal to anyone interested in textile history, in African culture, or in tribal art.