Welcome to Africa on the Floor


Because African textiles play an important role in modernafricanart’s own design, this background section will focus on African textiles.

In several ways, textiles express the very essence of what Africa is; a collage of many different peoples, histories and cultures. Just as rugs are to the Persians, textiles are a strong statement of personal and cultural identity.

Textile production in Africa goes back to ancient times. The oldest surviving examples from the 9th century B.C. are thought to be made by the Igbo people of Nigeria. Africans continue to respect the art of textile – making today and although tradition is respected, the art form continues to evolve according to contemporary tastes.