Cora Ginsburg LLC

Sold Archive: African & Asian Textiles

Kpokpo (strip-woven cloth)
Sierra Leone (Mende people), early 20th century
13 ft 2 in. x 63 in. (335.28 x 160 cm)

Sierra Leone cloths of prodigious lengths, known as kpokpo, wound hang at important occasions such as state ceremonies and funerals as striking displays of wealth and social position. These large strip-woven cotton cloths required specialized production--they were typically commissioned for an event and weavers were sometimes retained by chiefs. This kpokpo is composed of strips over thirteen feet long, and lengths of up to thirty feet have been recorded. In 194, the British Empire Exhibition at Wenbley featured a Sierra Leone Pavilion where Western audiences had the opportunity to view examples of traditional cloths as well as demonstrations of weavers at work.

Published in the 2005 Cora Ginsburg catalogue.

Copyright © 2020 Cora Ginsburg LLC. All rights reserved.