West African Loom Pulley
This case study examines a delicately carved object from The Courtauld’s small collection of African sculpture.
The wooden loom pulley, used in textile weaving, was made by the Guro people of Côte D’Ivoire in West Africa in the late 19th or early 20th century.
The display was researched and prepared by Niamh Collard, a doctoral candidate in Anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Her doctoral research is concerned with the educational and working lives of narrow-strip weavers in eastern Ghana, having spent a year in the field during which she apprenticed as a weaver.
Part of the Illuminating Objects series: 4 June to 12 November 2014.
I am very grateful to Prof. Trevor Marchand and Prof. Anna Contadini at SOAS, Dr Michaela Oberhofer and Eberhard Fischer at the Rietberg Museum in Zurich and Dr Duncan Clarke for all of their support and help throughout the project, and of course to my friends at the Agotime Weaving Centre in Kpetoe, Ghana, who taught me so much about weaving and what it means to be a craftsperson in West Africa.