Chris Spring’s book “African Textiles Today” was a mind expanding read for me. First, the photos are gorgeous; second, there’s enough text to elucidate the photos without overwhelming you; and third, it includes a section on textiles as integral elements of African photography. As I came to understand, in Africa textiles communicate many messages, some literal. Below I’ve shown the textile first, then the author’s annotation about it. Since I photographed them from the book, the curve of the pages distorts the images.
Often a kanga (a piece of cloth) will have words printed on it. My favorite is this work from Tanzania that says “The mangos are ready.” Apparently this is an invitation from wife to husband to help himself.
It was a tough decision, but my favorite textile in the book is one created in Egypt as a tent hanging.
I don’t want to lose sight of how all the textiles are created, so here is one being made.