African Prints in Retrospect

In: Other Topics

Submitted By myjohnson56
Words 1168
Pages 5
AFRICAN PRINTS IN RETROSPECT:
A CASE FOR FUTURE DEVELOPMENT

Abstract
The paper investigated the nature of machine-produced fabric commercially termed African prints by focusing on a select sample of these prints. It established that the general design characteristics of this print are an amalgam of mainly Javanese, Indian, Chinese, Arab and European artistic tradition.
It also explores the desirability and choice of certain design characteristics discovered in a wide range of African textile traditions from Africa south of the Sahara and their application with possible design concepts Akinwumi (2008:3)
African print was developed from batik, the latter being of Indian origin. Batik diffused from
India to Indonesian islands and Japan while its subsequent perfection was made possible by the Javanese before the thirteen century. Because batik was of Hindu origin, its sacred importance was associated with women’s birth, initiation, marriage etc.
The Javanese developed a high level of batik artistry before they were colonized. They produced many symbolic and non-symbolic patterns.
While under the rule of the Indians, Chinese, Islamic clerics and the Dutch, the Javanese were influenced by an influx of new ideas from the cultures of their overlords. Consequently, some Chinese mythology and Buddhist themes were borrowed and incorporated in their batik.
And greater development of geometric designs was made manifest more than before during the short period Java was made an Islamic state, because Islam forbade the representation of human forms and the like.
By the seventeenth century, Java came under the political control of the Dutch as Javanese batik was introduced to Holland and thereafter to other parts of Europe. Yet, it was not readily accepted in Europe because of its ‘exotic’ design content.
However, the Dutch led interested European firms in developing overseas…...

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