> 1733 - Old Tunisian Shawl - Berber People - WOVENSOULS Art Gallery

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1733 - Old Tunisian Shawl - Berber People

Antique Tunisian weaving  shawl

Superbly woven

Dyed in two rich shades on Maroon and Plum

Dyeing is hand done so it is not even and in some places appears patchy.

Size: 128 x 107 cm

Estimated to be from the early-mid 1900s

Has repairs / condition is not perfect.


 "Bakhnougs are not mere clothing accessories, conforming to a reductive interpretation of their social (and euro-centric) importance, but instead something akin to identity documents, through which women declare their age and social status (thanks to the colour), tribe (through the decoration), weaving ability (with the details of the design). For example, in the case of young women of marriageable age, the beauty of their shawls anticipated the degree of prestige of their future marriage, the size of the dowry and so on. We are convinced that in tribal textile art, an object’s narrative capacity is always a fundamental characteristic of its value, and almost always the basis of its technical and aesthetic excellence.

“From an aesthetic point of view, they are highly refined and absolutely contemporary works, closely aligned to the sensibility of many modern artists (…). The extraordinary dramatic nature of the best Tunisian bakhnougs is formed of tiny graffiti of white linen that frame a black or purple field and recalling the graffiti on the rocks of north-west Africa, together with modern photography inspired by genetic codes” (Percorsi d’Africa, edited by Chiara Battini and Arianna Sardella Yeh, Milan 2008).


This item has spent a lifetime being used for the purpose of its creation with the original artist/user. Signs of this life lived heartily may be present on the piece in the form of stains, thread loss, loose threads, holes, tears, color run and other imperfections. Therefore the condition must be assumed to be “not” perfect. More photos of such imperfections will be provided on request.


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