indigo and light blue; three panels; alternating floral and dot pattern rows of indigo thread embroidery running length of fabric; folded and sewn hems at each short edge; dyed design on one side; light blue pattern and indigo background: two bands along each short edge; two line designs in indigo border on one short edge; diagonal pattern of turtles with large circular shells, long rectangular tails filled with indigo dots; decorative curved lines and circles around turtles; dot pattern throughout

Tortoise pattern adire wrapper, 20th century

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Yoruba dyers used a technique called adire eleko to create the designs on this textile. The artist used a starchy paste applied with the quill of a feather to paint the design onto the fabric, then immersed it in indigo. After dying, she rinsed away the paste to reveal the design. The main design element on this cloth is the turtle, a popular character in Yoruba folklore that often plays the role of a cunning trickster.

Details
Title
Tortoise pattern adire wrapper
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2018.102.9
Curator Approved

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indigo and light blue; three panels; alternating floral and dot pattern rows of indigo thread embroidery running length of fabric; folded and sewn hems at each short edge; dyed design on one side; light blue pattern and indigo background: two bands along each short edge; two line designs in indigo border on one short edge; diagonal pattern of turtles with large circular shells, long rectangular tails filled with indigo dots; decorative curved lines and circles around turtles; dot pattern throughout