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The Silhouette of Africa. Colours and patterns of textiles and garments from sub-Saharan Africa.

Front panel of a woman's dress from Ghana, with batik image of Africa. TRC collection.

Front panel of a woman's dress from Ghana, with batik image of Africa. TRC collection.

The vast continent of Africa is home to a wide range of cultural and ethnic groups, many of whom have their own styles of traditional textiles and garments. For thousands of years these have been used as an important means to show, not only of the group's identity, but also a person's social and economic status, and his or her role within the group. And above that, the textiles also reflect ideas about colour, patterns and iconography, as well as religion and spirituality.

The aim of this exhibition at the TRC Gallery, which runs until 15 May 2014, is to give a feel for this diversity by focusing on various types of garments and textiles from different parts of sub-Saharan Africa. In doing so, emphasis is placed on types of fibres used for special garments; on some specific dyeing techniques, and on some of the silhouettes created by the garments and outfits worn by both men and women. Overall, many developments in the use of local and imported textiles have taken place in the 20th and early 21st centuries, and these are reflected in the garments. As a result, there have been some dramatic changes in the fibres used, the dyeing techniques, and the silhouette of Africa and Africans. For a photographic impression of the exhibition, click here.

The exhibition is co-produced with Paul Spijker (Toguna Art), a specialist in African
textiles and artifacts.

TRC in a nutshell

Hogewoerd 164, 2311 HW Leiden. Tel. +31 (0)71 5134144 / +31 (0)6 28830428   info@trc-leiden.nl

Opening times: Monday to Thursday: 10.00-16.00 hrs, other days by appointment.

Bank account number: NL39 INGB 0002 9823 59

Gallery exhibition, 3 April - 29 June: From Kaftan to Kippa

Entrance is free, but donations are always welcome !

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Financial gifts

The TRC is dependent on project support and individual donations. All of our work is being carried out by volunteers. To support the TRC activities, we therefore welcome your financial assistance: donations can be transferred to bank account number NL39 INGB 000 298 2359, in the name of the Textile Research Centre, Leiden. Since the TRC is officially recognised as a non-profit making cultural institution (ANBI), donations are tax deductible for 125% for individuals, and 150% for commercial companies. For more information, click here
 
Financial donations can also be made via Paypal: