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African Batik Wall Hanging, framed: woman and girl pounding in a mortar.
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This wall hanging uses the age-old technique of resist dying of fabric also known as batik.  The process uses multiple dye baths with the previous layer "resisting" the additional colors with wax or starch. Moving from light to dark dyes, the wax/starch cracks producing a pattern of webs of varying sizes. Each batik is a one-of-a-kind creation because desolving the wax/starch destroys itself.  Even though similarities may be noticed, no handcrafted batik is identical to another.  This wall hanging depicts a daily activity in rural African life - preparing meals from scratch. When two or more use one mortar to grind roots or grains, the pestle must be precisely raised and lowered alternatively for speed and efficiency.  Domestic chores are usually left to women and girls while men are away at cash-paying jobs. Dyed cotton, Handcrafted in Kenya. Privately collected prior to 2007.
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