African Art
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery

Weaving-Loom Pulley Surmounted by Two Figures

late 19th–early 20th century

Wood

Object: 20.5 x 8.5 x 6 cm (8 1/16 x 3 3/8 x 2 3/8 in.)
Charles B. Benenson, B.A. 1933, Collection
2006.51.195
Weaving-loom pulleys are used on narrow looms worked by men to produce strips that are then sewn together to create cloth for wrappers and gowns. The pulley is attached to two heddles, which hold alternate lengthwise warp threads. The heddles are also attached to foot pedals, which pull them up and down, creating a space between the alternate threads so that the shuttle carrying crosswise weft threads can pass easily through the opening. The pulleys often depict spiritual beings, masks, headdresses, and legendary figures. For some weavers, the form of the pulley may be an object of ritual veneration, while for others it may simply provide inspiration as a beautiful object.
Geography: 
Made in Guinea Coast, Nigeria
Culture: 
Yoruba
Classification: 
Tools and equipment
Status: 
Not on view
Bibliography: 

Frederick John Lamp, “Charles Benenson and His Legacy of African Art to Yale,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2004): 37, ill.

“Acquisitions, July 1, 2005–June 30, 2006,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2006): 222.

Frederick John Lamp, Accumulating Histories: African Art from the Charles B. Benenson Collection at the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2012), 170, ill.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.

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