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Cloth in West African History. By Colleen E. Kriger. AltaMira Press, Lanham, 2006, 240 pp. ISBN 978-0-7591-0422-8 (paperback). Price US$ 34.95.

Cloth in West African History. By Colleen E. Kriger. AltaMira Press, Lanham, 2006, 240 pp. ISBN... Book Review Textiles are finished products which not only represent the material resources of an area but also demonstrate the culture of a people. This is the central thesis of Colleen Kriger's 200-page book Cloth in West African History. Despite the title, the book is a historical overview of the trade and textile production of the lower Niger basin, now known as Nigeria. Above all, it is a synthesis of the author's long studies on this topic. In an unusual approach, the author starts with the cloth rather than with the history, and weaves a historical narrative focusing on three particular products made in twentieth-century Nigeria. A brocaded cotton wrapper, a pair of embroidered cotton trousers and an indigo-dyed cotton wrapper serve as the `thread' for independent but interrelated narratives that fit the flow of general historical trends of West Africa. Viewed alongside other textiles, the three products are connected to a number of social and economic factors that shaped the interregional and international history of the area, from ancient to contemporary times. In advancing her thesis, Kriger draws on a variety of sources, from museum and archaeological objects to a widely published literature, as well as written http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of African Archaeology Brill

Cloth in West African History. By Colleen E. Kriger. AltaMira Press, Lanham, 2006, 240 pp. ISBN 978-0-7591-0422-8 (paperback). Price US$ 34.95.

Journal of African Archaeology , Volume 6 (1): 151 – Oct 25, 2008

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Copyright 2008 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1612-1651
eISSN
2191-5784
DOI
10.3213/1612-1651-10107
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Book Review Textiles are finished products which not only represent the material resources of an area but also demonstrate the culture of a people. This is the central thesis of Colleen Kriger's 200-page book Cloth in West African History. Despite the title, the book is a historical overview of the trade and textile production of the lower Niger basin, now known as Nigeria. Above all, it is a synthesis of the author's long studies on this topic. In an unusual approach, the author starts with the cloth rather than with the history, and weaves a historical narrative focusing on three particular products made in twentieth-century Nigeria. A brocaded cotton wrapper, a pair of embroidered cotton trousers and an indigo-dyed cotton wrapper serve as the `thread' for independent but interrelated narratives that fit the flow of general historical trends of West Africa. Viewed alongside other textiles, the three products are connected to a number of social and economic factors that shaped the interregional and international history of the area, from ancient to contemporary times. In advancing her thesis, Kriger draws on a variety of sources, from museum and archaeological objects to a widely published literature, as well as written

Journal

Journal of African ArchaeologyBrill

Published: Oct 25, 2008

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