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Banana Leaf Paintings

Banana leaf paintings.
Unframed paintings from Kenya are available in assorted designs unframed as shown. Each banana leaf painting is a collage of individual banana leaves, each work is individually created.


Banana Leaf Artwork

Banana leaf artwork has been constant in African art for centuries. Native to Kenya, banana leaf art is composed of tiny slices of banana leaves that are cut and pasted or woven together. The banana leaves are sometimes dyed to create a more dimensional or realistic effect. You can also find banana leaf sculptures which are made by weaving together thin slices of the banana leaves, forming and pasting them together to create a completely new style of art. This is a very time-consuming process and is very hard to accomplish without flaws or breaking the sculpture. When the artwork is finished it becomes a gorgeous focal point that has become extremely popular in the last few years. Enjoy this rare and unusual art form for yourself.

Giant Size Mudcloth Painting
These X-Large paintings are a dramatic accent to your wall. They make the perfect stunning centerpiece that will be noticed by everyone who sees them. 45"x72" This is the thing to surprise and delight your guests! Choose from dozens of handpainted cloth paintings from Mali West Africa


The Meaning of Mudcloth

Each piece of mudcloth has a story to tell! The symbols, the arrangement, color and shape, all reveal different secrets.

Social Statues, character and occupation, these are all things which a piece of mudcloth communicates.

Even now African people are very careful about what they wear, as each fabric, color and dress is interpreted by others. What you wear shows what kind of person you are!

The Making of Mudcloth

The making of mudcloth is a time-consuming process, normally taking four days to a week to complete depending on weather. Each piece is made of 100% cotton, and is completely and totally hand-made.

The men start the process by weaving cotton thread on a loom. The loom is normally hand-held and makes a strip of cloth 5"-6" wide. After they weave around 9 panels they sew them together and then traditionally the women paint and design the cloth.

A mudcloth artist deals in a specific field. Each concept is taught and learned over a long period of time. A person wishing to work in the art of mudcloth has to be taught how to make each of the different dyes out of organic substances, as well as how each of the substances will react with the fabric and fixatives.

The first step in making the cloth is to set it in a fixative solution made from tea. The mud designs are then hand-painted and the tea sets into the fabric. Mud used to make mudcloth is usually mixed with water and set aside for about a year.

Using twigs or metal instruments the artist paints the designs with the mud, saturating the area so it will not wash out. After being washed the process is repeated and then dried and put in another solution to make patterns stand out more. On black and white fabric, a soda is painted on the areas with no patterns causing then to be white.

Each color has meaning. The most traditional coloring has been the black background with white designs. This is typically used for story telling or the portrayal of a proverb.

Another color popular among hunters and the Fulani people is the rust. This color is appreciated because doesn't show dirt and represents strong supernatural powers that protect the hunter. The rust color signifies blood either from the hunt, or from warfare. Because mudcloth is made from the soils, it has been useful to both groups as a form of camouflage.

White mudcloth is perhaps the most difficult fabric, and it's easy to stain with the dye. White is a color normally worn by women or girls at ceremonial events. Another rare color is gray which ia also worn by hunters. Cream is a natural color of the mudcloth before it has been dyed.

Recently many colors have been added to the traditional colors. Bright reds, purples, yellows, and oranges are constantly being developed by new artists. Many people view these with disdain as they are not traditional.

Banana Leaf Hut: African Map
A touch of Africa that everyone can afford and enjoy!
This three-dimensional wall hanging adds a unique feel to any setting. Map of Africa with an African hut mounted on it. Made from banana leaves. Made in Kenya. 8" tall.

Tel: 1-909-589-4185

Tanya's Africana Styles * 200 South Linden Ave. 12-O * Rialto * Ca * 92376