Accompanies a major exhibition at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Rollins College 18 January-15 May 2020. Includes unpublished artworks from across the African continent. Featuring African textiles, clothing, headwear, and jewelry, 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 characterize African dress; the wide variety of cultural, religious, and political motivations for adorning oneself; and the varying identities reflected in analyzing 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 jewelry from North Africa, beadwork-embellished clothing from South Africa, and various headdresses from across the continent, to name a few examples. From formal European colonization, to independence for African countries, to the liberalization of African economies, this book will demonstrate how dress practices reveal personal and group identities, cultural traditions, religious associations, political affiliations, and aspirations.