Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Pa Brimah Daru - master Mende Weaver

Pa Brima Daru was from Daru in the Eastern Province of Sierra Leone. He was a master weaver of cotton country cloth which he fashioned into coverings for Paramount Chiefs and for others who valued his work. Despite his one "lazy eye" he had a good sense of style and also a good sense of what might sell. In Peace Corps volunteers he found a market both for place mats for tables, but also for larger coverings for beds. I must have met Pa Brima on one of his many trips to Kenema (where we lived). He peddled his wares to us and may have even come to our house to sell his place mats. I did eventually commission him to make us a large bed covering [see my February 2009 posting Country Cloth]. Here he is seen at his home in Daru, using the typical Mende tripod loom, making place mats for eventual sale. This was probably taken in 1969.

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