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The searingly bright and boldly patterned fabrics are synonymous with Africa. The wax prints are part of a nonverbal way of communication among African women and men, and hereby they carry their message out into the world. Some wax prints can be named after personalities, cities, building, sayings or occasions.


So while West African textiles are an important cultural building block, they have a history more complex than meets the eye and with a story deeper than one might expect of a simply characteristic textile worn not just across Africa but now in towns and cities worldwide.