What do these icons mean?
‘The Hand’ is a print that symbolizes financial stability in a household. In Togo, when a women gets married, her parents must come up with some income that will allow their daughter to be independent from her husband.
One of Vlisco’s best selling-Prints, ‘Happy Family’ featured a design with an archetypical African Family. The mother chicken who plays a pivotal role in the family is in the center with her children surrounding her. The father (Rooster) is shown with his head down, meaning he has only a minor role in the family structure.
In Niger, a vendor that sells a fan in his stall has a certain status as it is a popular, expensive item to obtain and sell. Vlisco designed the Hema fan in 1985.
The exact meaning of this cloth is not clear but in Nigeria, a particular design know as ‘Big Bible & Snail’ is popular amongst the Igbo tribe.
The Roller Skate
A quote was taken from Annette Schmidt, a curator of an exhibition on African wax (Dutch National Ethnology Museum) who said ‘I saw the rollerskate design on women in villages in Mali who I’m sure had never seen a real one, but I guess they saw the humour,’.
If you know of the history behind any of the icons or have a story of what it means to you, feel free to share.
SOURCE: VLISCO & GOOGLE