Textile Talk: Making Cloth and Making Social Worlds in Madagascar

Dates: April 23, 2012 to April 23, 2012
Location: Design Exchange

Sarah Fee is an Associate Curator – Eastern Hemisphere Textiles and Costume at the Royal Ontario Museum. For four years she lived with several communities of Tandroy cattle herders in the spiny desert at the southern tip of the island. There, she learned to spin, dye, and weave with village women and studied the central roles played by women and their cloth in funerary rites, ceremonial exchange and social life more generally. Having undertaken additional research across the island, Dr. Fee guest curated the exhibition Gifts and Blessings, the Textile Arts of Madagascar at` the Smithsonian Institutions National Museum of African Art. Most recently her research interests have spread to the weaving traditions that have historically interconnected with and influenced those of Madagascar, namely Southeast Asia, Swahili East Africa, Southern Arabia, and India. Thematic interests include the historic trade of textiles, East-West interconnections, local appropriations of industrial cloth, gender, ceremonial exchange, spinning and dye technologies. She is a Research Associate at the Smithsonians National Museum of Natural History and a Chercheuse Affilie at the muse du quai Branly.

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