Mud, Cloth, Metal

We’ve collected a group of objects and structures that offer a glimpse into the diversity of African tribal design.

• Structure, function, and decoration come together seamlessly in these Cob Houses, decorated with geometric patterns by a group of women in Tiébéle, a village in Burkina Faso. You can see more the collaborative process in this video.

• This headdress of a Ram dates back to 19th century Burkina Faso.

• Buki Abib’s Fela Collection fuses traditional knitting techniques with the textiles, color, and culture of her native Lagos.

• Silvia Peluso’s Ring is made of a double curl of copper embedded with silver rivets.

• Anne Marie’s Necklace combines water buffalo bone disks and a cow horn bead from Ghana.

• Sandra’s Pillow has a geometric design inspired by dresses worn by the Xhosa women of South Africa.

• Laura Pursell’s Bag is made of hand-painted mud cloth from Mali, and the inside is lined with wax print fabric covered in West African adinkra symbols. Part of the proceeds from each sale in her shop go to the Manya Krobo Queen Mothers Association. Check out her website – Threads of Change – to learn more about their mission of creating unique work that makes a difference.

• Virginia’s Spice Jars are made of wood and painted with designs inspired by African tribal patterns.

• Katie Leigh’s Necklace suspends a triangle, used in African trade for measurement, from a brass chain.

• Nicole Lebreux’s Cap Sleeve Tee has a screen-printed design inspired by Egyptian pottery.

• Claudia Louis’ Pillow has one side covered in patterned mud cloth and the other in a crochet knit modeled after Kuba cloth.