Textile length: Okunpa (Good Husband) - 2006.21.12_1


Textile length: Okunpa (Good Husband)

Maker: GTP
Medium:Machine-printed cotton
Geography: Ghana
Date: c. 2005
488 x 121.5 cm
Object number: 2006.21.12
Credit Line: This acquisition was made possible by the generous support of the ROM Reproductions Acquisitions Fund.
Not on view

In West Africa, printed cloths are used to express messages, proverbs and common as political propaganda; they mark important cultural and social events, and are particularly interesting as a means of female expression. These textiles are designed, marketed and sold for West African men and women. They are printed with the pattern placed vertically, from selvage to selvage (unlike most European style printed textiles where the pattern repeat is in the length). This is because they are worn this way and the only finishing required is at the cut ends, unless the woman has a tailored 3 piece Ghanaian ensemble. The cotton prints are folded and sold in 12 yards lengths.

GTP is the most expensive and high end printed textile company in Ghana and is known for its Dutch wax. This is cotton that is waxed, cracked and dyed, wax removed and the textile roller printed to imitate Dutch wax batik that was produced by the Dutch to supply machine-made imitations of Javanese batik to Indonesia. The higher end goods are block printed while others are screened to imitate it. Dutch wax is expensive and high quality.

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