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An Appraisal of the Aesthetic Dimension to the African Philosophy of Cloth

Bridget O.J. Omatseye
Kingsley O. Emeriewen


In the African society, the art and life of the people symbiotically reflect each other. African art has its own history, its aesthetic concept, as well as a powerful emotional content. This is the case for the African philosophy of Cloth. Cloth in this context has metaphorical import which helps to define concepts of the people and their culture, social relationships, beliefs and their understanding of human existence. In other words, Africans enter into reciprocal, reflexive relationship with their cloth metaphor, through which they gain more insightful understanding both of themselves and of their conception of cloth. This no doubt is beyond the surface beauty of the African cloth. The African cloth has an inherent aesthetics in its symbolic usage, motifs, colours, and even in the message cloth “speaks”.


Key Words: Culture, Cloth Metaphor, Aesthetic Symbolism.