Patterns in Circulation: Cloth, Gender, and Materiality in West Africa .


In this book, Nina Sylvanus tells a captivating story of global trade and cross-cultural aesthetics in West Africa, showing how a group of Togolese womenthrough the making and circulation of wax clothbecame influential agents of taste and history. Traveling deep into the shifting terrain of textile manufacture, design, and trade, she follows wax cloth around the world and through time to unveil its critical role in colonial and postcolonial patterns of exchange and value production.

Sylvanus brings wax cloths unique and complex history to light: born as a nineteenth-century Dutch colonial effort to copy Javanese batik cloth for Southeast Asian markets, it was reborn as a status marker that has dominated the visual economy of West African markets. Although most wax cloth is produced in China today, it continues to be central to the expression of West African womens identity and power. As Sylvanus shows, wax cloth expresses more than this global motion of goods, capital, aesthetics, and laborit is a form of archive where intimate and national memories are stored, always ready to be reanimated by human touch. By uncovering this crucial aspect of West African material culture, she enriches our understanding of global trade, the mutual negotiations that drive it, and the how these create different forms of agency and subjectivity.
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Authors: Nina Sylvanus

Date: 2021

Upload Date: 6/6/2022 4:07:45 PM

Format: epub

Pages: 224

OCR:

Quality:

Language: English

ISBN / ASIN: 022639719X

ISBN13:

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