Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Seattle Art Museum (SAM)
menu

Adire Eleko ("resist pasted on")

Adire Eleko ("resist pasted on")

20th century

Indigo is a natural dye that sometimes suggests the hues of a midnight sky, shadows of dusk and dawn, as well as a melancholy mood. In Nigeria, plain cotton shirting began arriving from England in the early 20th century. It was disregarded until indigo dyers began making the cotton into canvases by using feathers or stencils with cassava paste. In order to achieve the deepest blue-black, the cloth would be dipped repeatedly in a dye vat. One cloth quotes from the proverb, Atari Ajanaku Kinse Eru Omode:"The head of an elephant is no load for a child."
Cotton cloth with indigo dye
83 11/16 x 72 5/8 in. (212.5 x 184.5 cm)
Gift of the Christensen Fund
2001.980
location
Not currently on view

Seattle Art Museum acknowledges that we are on the traditional homelands of the Duwamish and the customary territories of the Suquamish and Muckleshoot Peoples. As a cultural and educational institution, we honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future. We also acknowledge the urban Native peoples from many Nations who call Seattle their home.