A country loom, Massaia, Warra Warra Limba Country, Protectorate of Sierra Leone, 1890 - 1899
Scope and Contents
157 x 111 mm. Showing a Mendi man standing beside a large wooden loom, the framework construction serving as a frame to hold the cotton which is fed into the weaving apparatus in the foreground. Alldridge was much impressed by the quality of material manufactured in the Sierra Leone hinterland: 'The Gallinas in Lower Mendi undoubtedly take the first honours in artistic treatment of colours. The up-country people appear to know only blue and white, or black and white, and have no designs beyond stripes. I am sure if these cloths were known in England they would be much appreciated and used ... This is a native industry which if encouraged by the British would give employment to thousands of people. A very primitive method of treating indigo produces the most beautiful light and shade that is a real pleasure to the artistic sense...'
The weaving of the cloth is entirely the work of the men, the women's part ceasing with the ginning and the spinning ... They then set up the loom in some convenient spot, as shown in Figure 31 [i.e. this print], and proceed with the work, which takes a long time; but when once completed these cloths are of endless wear. They are accepted as currency, the price ranging from 2s to as much as two heads of money, £6.' (Alldridge 1901, pages 99-100).
- 1890 - 1899
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Language of Materials
Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements
Good condition, apart from slight yellowing.
DateText: The date is approximate..
Finding aid date
- From the Fonds: Alldridge, Thomas Joshua, 1847 - 1916 (photographer) (Person)