Period: 19th century (9198) | 20th century (5390)
Type: wood (338)
busts (1091) | looms (5)
Carved loom pulley
19th century or early 20th century
Guro People, Cote d'Ivoire
Height: 20.1 cm; Width: 7 cm (at base);
Acquisition (source, method, date)
Fry, Roger Eliot; bequest; 1935
About this work
This loom pulley, used in the weaving of textiles, was made in the central belt of Côte D’Ivoire. It brings together the two artistic traditions for which West Africa is most renowned, wood carving and textile production. The Guro people inhabit a crossroads in the region. They hold a pivotal place in the history of migration and trade between its neighbouring peoples. Until the early 20th century, sculpted loom pulleys featuring humans and animals were common throughout West Africa. The Guro’s easterly neighbours, the Baule people of Côte D’Ivoire and the Asante of Ghana, as well as the Dogon of Mali up north, all have traditions of making and using similarly carved loom pulleys. Evidence of mutual influence can also be seen in the woven textiles produced in the area.
(Permanent collection label)
This work is not on display
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Copyright: © The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London