Lamba Akotifahana

The textiles of Madagaskar have long fascinated textile collectors all over the world and the reasons are multiple. First is their striking beauty, achieved through rich color and texture. Second is their use of unusual materials such as wild silk and fibers. Third is the weaving technique, utilizing body tension loom and warp ikat which links them to Southeast Asian traditions rather than African ones. Fourth is their unusual usage as shrouds in reburial rituals that contributes greatly to their mystique. Finally, of course, is their scarcity. Laboriously woven by women, they were expensive to produce and very time consuming. Color and pattern alludes to the wearer social status.This lamba is made of local silk and composed of three panels sewn together. It is typically decorated with supplementary weft forming motifs that are mostly botanical. Few lambas were gifted by royals to foreign dignitaries and as such survived in Western collections. A fire in the National Museum in Antananarivo the capital destroyed the country most important collection of these rare textiles.

Circa: late 19th century

Origin: Madagascar

Material: Silk

Condition: minor uneven fading, very good

Dimensions: 96" x 57"

Inventory number: TX4184



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Inventory #: TX4184 Categories: , ,

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