The Dahomey Appliques
I have wanted to acquire a Dahomey Applique for at least 30 years since I first saw one in a book on applique. This week I was fortunate enough to find two to purchase.
These (Fon) appliques were made in Dahomey a West African country that was re-named Benin in 1975. The kingdom of Dahomey was a powerful West Africa State that was founded in the 17th century and lasted until 1894. From 1894 to 1960 Dahomey was part of French West Africa and named The Republic of Dahomey. In 1975 the country was renamed Benin. The red border and the yellow border were machine stitched and the rest of the textile was made by hand. The appliques were made for tourists in the 1960-1970s.
Handmade appliques were used in banners, flags, tapestries, royal umbrellas, hammocks, ceremonial cloths representing Dahomey oral history. All Fon appliques include animal figures. Elaborate large applique tapestries were reserved only for royalty and detailed life events of the person were woven into a tapestry by a designated craftsman.
Labels: dahomey applique