June 8, 2010

Tapestries of Thiès

Manufactures Sénégalaises des Arts Décoratifs, located in Thiès, was one of the artistic centers inspired by President Senghor in the 1960’s.  Designs for the brightly colored tapestries are chosen from paintings submitted by Senegalese  and other African artists.

Each design is first drawn in reverse, then enlarged and color coded.  This large piece of paper is placed in the loom for the weavers to follow.  The weaving is done on manual looms with two weavers completing about 1 sq meter per month.  Only eight tapestries are made of each design.  Most of the tapestries are gifts of the government to foreign dignitaries.  Atlanta airport, Buckingham Palace, Bill Clinton, and George Bush are four of the recipients.  Some are for sale, but at $1000 per square meter we could only admire and enjoy the exhibition!

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