Collection of Beautiful Antique African Rugs and Textiles
African Rugs and Textiles – Textile weaving has been an important part of various African civilizations for millennia. The ancient Egyptians were some of the first people to use the loom, around the year 4000 BC. In most regions, the labor was split between the sexes: the women would dye and spin the thread, while the men would do the actual weaving. The rugs of North Africa, including Moroccan and Tunisian, are particularly famous, though many other African societies have created unique textiles that have warranted global attention.
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Rugs woven by the Berber people of Morocco are particularly popular on the international scene. These Moroccan rugs traditionally were made of wool from black and white sheep, and the materials they used were not dyed. They often told a story about the weaver’s life while also serving a practical purpose, helping to keep their owners warm during the cold nights they would spend on the Atlas Mountains.
Many African societies used textiles as a means of communicating messages, weaving historical stories and conveying symbolism. The Ewe would weave Kente cloths that had particular meanings depending on the colors used, for example. Similarly, Andinkra fabrics had symbols stamped on them using black ink. Each of these symbols held a specific meaning, and together would convey a message or story to anyone who could decipher them. With such a long history of textile-weaving and such a diversity of cultures, it is no wonder that the continent of Africa has produced so many different symbolic interpretations of this ancient art form.
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Below you can view our current collection of African rugs and antique textiles from Africa: