Reading was also in the list. I wanted to know more about textile arts in africa and found for ex. that the most apreciated wax printed fabrics whi
ch decorate the bodys of african women who look very gracious and beautiful in their traditional garments are MADE IN HOLLAND???!! Why? Because the Dutch have been a long time now in the african market. They send their peolple many times a year to the african countrys to search for trends. Why wax fabrics?
"In the mid-eighteenth century the Dutch recruited troops from the Gold coast to fight their colonial wars in Java. The troops returned to Africa with a taste for Javanese wax-resist textiles, which subsequetly were introduced into the region...By the 1920s, firms in Switzerland, France and Japan had adopted the process and fierce competition ensued to develop designs that would appeal to local tastes and reflect topical concerns" (The Poetics of Cloth/Alisa LaGamma). Now the predominant industry is Vlisco followed by Akosobo Limited Textiles in Accra, whose designers are trained in schools such as the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana
And the textile traditions that have existed for at least a millenium and continue to be practiced in west africa today? They have a hard time competing with the industrialy produced staff, many workshops must close as the big producers get bigger and bigger.
I wanted to try and see this wax prints and bought some at the very nice and recomendable site of Rosa Pomar http://www.rosapomar.com, and did as you see just some cute experiments with it.