|Title||Ewe Silk Cloth Orange and Blue Textile Symbols Togo African Art|
|Type of Object||textile, cloth|
|Country of Origin||Togo|
|Approximate Age||20th century|
|Damage/Repair||stains, general wear|
Kente and Ewe stripwoven cloths have been called the most time consuming weaving ever done. A few years ago, I read about someone weaving using spider web thread…perhaps it took even more time. This unusual silk Ewe has a lovely hand, and a fascinating design.
The Ewe are famous for their glorious and complex textiles, known as "keta," which are made of long cotton strips combined with silk that are then sewn together. Though they are similar to the Kente of the Asante, there are distinguishing characteristics which can be discerned by experts. There are those who think the beauty of the keta exceeds that of the kente, and undoubtedly the subject still arises as the two cultures mingle together in Ghana today.The present example is made out of cotton and silk and is a example of machine made fabric decorated with important local symbols among the peoples of Coastal region.
The Ewe origin can be traced back to the region of "Ketu," which was Yoruba territory during the 14th century, in what is now the Republic of Benin. The aggressive Yoruba eventually pushed the Ewe into a westward migration, and they ended up roughly where they are today, mostly in Ghana and Togo. Though the majority of cultures in this region choose leaders based on their mother's lineage, the Ewe appoint chief and attendants using male ancestors as their guides.
Recommended Reading: See AFRICAN TEXTILES by Christopher Spring, and AFRICAN MAJESTY-THE TEXTILE ART OF THE ASHANTE AND EWE, by Adler and Barnard.