About this artwork
This contemporary weaving was produced at a workshop devoted to the revival of a precolonial textile tradition by Merina weavers on the island of Madagascar. During the 19th century, the nobility and aristocracy of the ruling Merina commissioned and purchased intricately patterned silk textiles, which were worn like a toga by members of the elite as indicators of status and were also used as burial shrouds. Production of these elaborate textiles began to decline by the 1890s and eventually ceased altogether. In the 1990s, a group of weavers from the town of Arivonimamo created new and original designs that draw inspiration from the historical weavings of the 19th century. This wrapper consists of vertical bands of geometric patterns—many derived from tree and plant life of the local region—and delicate warp fringes. Unlike the earlier wrappers, these contemporary textiles were not designed to be worn, but are rather considered works of art for public and private display.
Currently Off View
- Antoine Rakotoarinala
- Panel (Lamba Mpanjaka-Monarch's or Sovereign's Wrapper)
- Silk, warp-faced plain weave with supplementary patterning warps and supplementary brocading wefts; five panels joined; finished at both ends with knotted and braided warp fringe
- 278.1 x 171.5 cm (109 1/2 x 67 1/2 in.) Weft repeat: point repeat
- Ada Turnbull Hertle Endowment