Materials: yarn, palm fibre, dyed raffia, acrylic ink, paper
Technique: basketry, dyeing, lettering
Size: 28 x 18 cm diameter (jug); 11 x 21 cm diameter (bowl)
Description: Archaeologists and anthropologists are able to discover much about how people in past cultures lived and thought by studying their written records, tools and everyday paraphernalia. These people who lived in settled communities left behind a relative treasure-trove of clues. In contrast, we know very little about the lives of ancient nomadic people. Most wandering tribes had no written language, so their cultural traditions survived only while they were passed down orally through the generations. In addition these wandering people were able to carry only a few essential practical utensils in their travels.
These vessels are woven from fibre wrapped in filaments of text. This symbolises the way modern historians re-create the fabric of past nomadic societies from tiny fragments of their personal possessions. Researchers also use indirect corroborative evidence to tie the threads together as they construct a tangible historical framework for each society.