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Yoruba Adire Cloth


The Yoruba people live on the west coast of Africa in Nigeria and ... Crayon Resist- A substance which protects a surface from receiving paints, inks, or dyes. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Yoruba Adire Cloth

Yoruba Adire Cloth
  • Africa Art- adire eleko cloth
  • 3rd grade

Southwestern Nigeria
  • The Yoruba people live on the west coast of
    Africa in Nigeria and can also be found in the
    eastern Republic of Benin and Togo. There are
    also many Yoruba currently living in Europe,
    particularly Britain, since Nigeria was once a
    British colony. The Yoruba are one of the largest
    cultural groups in Africa. Currently, there are
    about 40 million Yoruba world-wide. The Yoruba
    have been living in advanced urban kingdoms for
    more than 1,500 years. They created a strong
    economy through farming, trading, and art
    production. Their outstanding and unique artistic
    traditions include woodcarving, sculpture, metal
    work, textiles, and beadwork.

  • West Africans, such as the Yoruba, have lived in
    urban societies and have produced extraordinary
    art work since the 5th century BC. During this
    time, the Yoruba began to use iron to create
    metal tools and weapons such as machetes, axes,
    and hoes. These tools made it easier for the
    Yoruba to farm the land. They planted crops
    including yams, their staple food. They also
    harvested the seeds from the palm oil tree. The
    seeds from this tree produce a vegetable oil that
    is used for cooking. Kola nuts were also grown
    and harvested. Soon the Yoruba began trading with
    neighboring areas for rice and sorghum. Due to
    increased agriculture, the Yoruba community began
    to grow in size and large towns were created.
    They arranged their communities by clan lines, or
    extended families.

Art Work
African Adire Cloth
  • Textiles not only played an important role in the
    arts of Africa but in the basic lives of Africans
    as well. Textiles were mostly used as clothing,
    hanging freely on the body or fitted like clothes
    of present day Americans. African clothing could
    be expressed as the social status of the African
    wearing the clothes.
  • One type of textile that is used in African
    culture is the African adire cloth. Adire is the
    Yoruba word for indigo resist-dyed cloth.
  • The dye used in the adire process is indigo
    which came from India around the beginning of the
    seventeenth century
  • There were two types of adire cloth, adire oniko
    and adire eleko. Adire oniko used tie dying to
    create resist patterns, while adire eleko used
    starch resists to create patterns.
  • Adire oniko could use resist dyeing many
    different ways. Most of the time, two or more
    layers of cloth were used. The cloth could be
    folded into pleats (the cloth was eventually tied
    together to form one bundle), repeatedly tied in
    knots, tied with raphia, stitched, or sometimes
    sticks and stones could be fastened in or on the

Adire Eleko
  • The second form of adire was adire eleko. There
    were two forms of adire eleko, stenciling with
    starch and painting with starch. The starch used
    in both stenciling and painting was created from
    cassava flour or yam flour, which was stirred in
    with boiling water to make the product smoother.
  • The designs for stenciling on adire eleko were
    created by marking the patterns on flat roofing
    sheet. The patterns were cut out of the metal and
    starch was painted onto the cloth over the
  • Stenciling was considered mans work, as opposed
    to painting the adire eleko cloth, which was
    considered womens work. In the painting process,
    the starch was painted on the cloth and when
    dyed, the indigo resisted where the starch was
    painted on. The African women used chicken
    feathers, thin pieces of palm leaves and
    matchsticks, all as different methods of painting
    patterns on the cloth. Both the stenciling
    products and the painting products were dyed with
    indigo, and their final images are quite similar
    to the adire oniko cloth, the only difference was
    the meticulous processes that are involved in
    creating the beautiful textiles.

  • All forms of adire cloth were divided into
    individual shapes, usually rectangles, with
    patterns and designs within each one. The
    fascinating part of adire patterns was that each
    different design has its own symbolic meaning or

Senufo people and mud cloths
  • Fakaha is a small village in the country of Côte
    d'Ivoire, West Africa. The Senufo people create
    paintings that are stylized drawings of masked
    figures and animals. Painted by the men, who live
    in Fakaha, the paintings are drawn and painted on
    pieces of white, loosely woven, cotton fabric.
    First, the Senufo draw the figures freehand with
    a yellowish-green dye made from the leaves of the
    falma bush. Then a second coat of black paint is
    drawn on top of the falma dye. This paint is made
    from a sludgy mud dug from the roots of trees in
    swampy areas. Traditional Senufo paintings were
    made into dance or hunting clothes. The Senufo
    believe the drawings have special powers that
    protect and bring the hunter good luck. Today
    this cloth is seldom made into hunting clothes.
    Instead, the paintings are sold to tourists and
    specialty shops. Many have become ornamental
    fabrics for wall hangings, pillows, tablecloths,
    or other decorative items.

Stylized animals and people
The Project
Step by step
  • 1st- Draw a sketch of your animal that you will
    use on scrap paper.
  • 2nd - Use the Adrinka symbols and draw in white
    oil pastel on light blue paper. Create patterns
    with the symbols
  • 3rd Paint over top with blue biggie cakes
    (this is a wax resist). Similar to the processing
    of dying the cloth.
  • 4th - Draw a stylized animal on black, brown, or
    dark gray paper. It must be very large
  • 5th - Create more patterns on the animal with a
    variety of colored construction paper.
  • 6th Glue down on paper

Vocabulary words
  • Line- A mark with length and direction(-s). An
    element of art which refers to the continuous
    mark made on some surface by a moving point.
    Types of line include vertical, horizontal,
    diagonal, straight or ruled, curved, bent,
    angular, thin, thick or wide, interrupted
    (dotted, dashed, broken, etc.).
  • Pattern- The repetition of any thing shapes,
    lines, or colors
  • Crayon Resist- A substance which protects a
    surface from receiving paints, inks, or dyes.
    Waxes are commonly used as a resist to the dyes
    used in batik.
  • Adire Eleko- indigo resist-dyed cloth created by
    the woman of Yoruba, from the southwest coast of
  • Senufo- People from the small village of Fakaha
    in the country of Côte d'Ivoire, West Africa who
    created mud paintings.
  • Contrast- A large difference between two things
  • stylized- To stylize is to alter natural shapes,
    forms, colors, or textures in order to make a
    representation in a preset style or manner. The
    design of any work tends to result in its having
    a style, and its having been freely chosen is one
    aspect of its appeal.
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