For centuries, the peoples of Sub-Saharan Africa have been producing domestic and professional embroidery to decorate themselves, their families, clients, homes and public spaces. Embroidery is an expression of artistic, personal, family, regional and even political creativity which has played an important role in the social and cultural lives of people throughout the region. It has also reflected economic and political changes over time as well as social, religious and artistic contexts. This is the first reference work to describe the history of embroidery throughout Africa south of the Sahara from the early modern period through to the present. From quilted armour to embroidered caps and leather sandals, it offers an authoritative guide to all the major embroidery traditions of the region and a detailed examination of the material, technical, artistic and design dimensions of the subject.
Generously illustrated with 395 images (362 in colour) of clothes, accessories, and examples of decorated soft furnishings such as cushions, bed linen, curtains, floor coverings and wall hangings, the Encyclopedia is an essential resource for students and scholars of the subject.
This volume is part of the Bloomsbury World Encyclopedia of Embroidery series. The first volume, on embroidery from the Arab World, won the 2017 Dartmouth Medal, awarded by the American Library Association for a reference work of outstanding quality and significance.