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African fabric embroidered with small white, green and red beads, African Apparel in white font on green central banner

African Apparel

Threaded Transformations Across the 20th Century

By (author) Ryan MacKenzie Moon PhD


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  • Accompanied a major exhibition at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Rollins College (18 January-15 May 2020)
  • Essential reading for those interested in African textiles, jewellery, clothing, history, and cultural studies
  • Includes unpublished artworks from across the African continent
Full Description

Featuring African textiles, clothing, headwear, and jewellery, this book celebrates African dress as a product of global interactions, generational conflict and continuity, and expressions of gender. The book highlights the strength and resilience of long-standing practices that characterise African dress; the wide variety of cultural, religious, and political motivations for adorning oneself; and the varying identities reflected in analysing African material culture of the last century and a half. Textile selections include hand-woven and dyed examples alongside factory-woven and machine-printed cloth. Items of adornment include amber and silver jewellery from North Africa, beadwork-embellished clothing from South Africa, and various headdresses from across the continent, to name a few examples. From formal European colonisation, to independence for African countries, to the liberalisation of African economies, this book will demonstrate how dress practices reveal personal and group identities, cultural traditions, religious associations, political affiliations, and aspirations.

About the Author
MacKenzie Moon Ryan is Assistant Professor of Art History at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. Ryan specialises in the history of African art, with particular interest in textiles, fashion, trade, colonialism, cross-cultural exchange, and museum studies. She serves on the editorial board for the scholarly journal African Arts.
Look Inside
Scala Arts & Heritage Publishers
3rd Feb 2020
Paperback / softback
250 mm x 210 mm
112 Pages
75 color
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