The Dida tribe of Ivory Coast created cloth from raffia palm leaves for ceremonial and festive occasions. The cloth was made into tubular skirts (with no seams), loincloths, tubular skirts, cloaks, and kerchiefs. Dida cloth was seen as luxurious and a symbol of high status, and is now sought after by collectors.
The weaving method used to create Dida cloth is now considered “extinct.” The process was skillfully done without a loom and requires talent and patience. Bundles of fiber from the raffia palm tree were gathered by Dida women and woven together using a method called “Tubular Oblique Interlacing.” These then get embellished by a tie-dyeing process into fields densely packed with groups of circles, ovals, rectangles and dots in warm earth tones. The dyes are sourced from shrubs, leaves, tree roots, and other natural resources.
Due to the shape of this piece and the finished edge at the top, this piece was likely a tubular garment that has been cut.
Circa: 20th Century
Origin: Ivory Coast
Material: Raffia Fiber
Condition: Very Good, some minor holes
Dimensions: 59"W x 38.5"H
Inventory number: TX5081