Tissue forêt sacrée - sacred forest cloth - is traditionally worn as a wrapper by women in the forest region of southern Guinea. Men may also wear these cloths tailored into simple jackets or tunics.
The artisan makers use very basic equipment and natural dyes to produce this unique textile. 100% cotton.
Use as a wallhanging or throw. Or, if you feel adventurous, you could create a garment or cushion covers.
Typical size: 125 x 175 cm / 49 x 68 in, approximately.
Guinée forestière is the densely forested mountainous region of southern Guinea in West Africa.
The main market town is N'Zerekore. In the villages nearby, local artisans make traditional tissue forêt sacrée - sacred forest cloth.
Kola nut is important all across West Africa.
When chewed, it is a mild stimulant which can supress appetite. It is also important in ritual. When you visit somebody you bring kola nut as a gift to your host - especially if you are visiting somebody important like an elder or a chief.
Old kola nut that is no good for chewing makes a traditional natural dye stuff. Dyers pound kola nut with a mortar and pestle into a pulp, which they mix with water to make their simple dye.
Next, they dip lengths of factory woven cotton cloth in the kola nut dye and let it dry in the sun.
When the fabric is dry, the artisans apply aged and fermented mud to the cloth, creating their designs.
Some designs are traditional, others are more contemporary.
After drying in the sun the cloth is ready for market.