Yoruba artists, women called “Aladire,” make adire eleko textiles by applying a resist-paste of cassava flour to the cloth with a sharpened quill. The techniques and designs are passed down by these women through generations. The heights of adire production were in the 1920s-30s and the 1960s-70s which were times of relative political stability in Nigeria.
Adire designs are drawn on one side only and then the cloth gets dip-dyed in an indigo bath numerous times to achieve the deep blue black so prized by the Yoruba. In between dippings the cloth is laid out carefully on racks to dry without cracking the cassava paste, thus achieving straight edges on the designs. The pasted areas absorb some indigo, but not as much, thus creating the blue-on blue design seen here.
This adire eleko was made in 1973 in Nigeria out of cotton. The design is drawn in a square grid containing alternating squares with concentric circles, and a crossed-keys design with “1973” inscribed.
Dimensions: 67" x 67"
Inventory number: TX5004