Algerian Berber Blanket/cape
Up until its independence, Algeria had a vibrant tradition of hand-weaving similar to Tunisia and Morocco. Sadly, these traditions have disappeared, but the some textiles have survived and live on. This textile would have been woven by tribeswomen from the Mzab Valley in south central Algeria in the early 20th century.
This piece is made of wool, and dyed using natural elements such as henna and pomegranate rind. The design features a beige cross-like shape with three vertical lines. The edges are all jagged, with a thin black outline. Inside this outline are various smaller diamond and triangular shapes in red, yellow, black, and green. The ground outside of the cross is red with red, green, black, and beige horizontal stripes with various patterns. Eight black boxes sit between the vertical lines, also with jagged edges and stripes on the top and bottom. A short fringe lines both shorter edges. It is tapestry woven, but uses a technique that doesn’t have the slits usually seen in Turkish kilims.
Circa: 20th Century
Inventory number: TX4978