Thursday, January 12, 2017

Tribal Patterns Run Amok!

This morning I decided to put on layers of all of the black and white "tribal" patterns I own.
It got funnier as I went, adding layers. My husband decided that we needed to do a photo shoot.
So, I'm letting you in on our fun.  

There is an necklace of antique Lewis & Clark beads. 

The bracelet is from the Himba people of Namibia, who no longer have access to ivory or animal bones. “This community wanted to hold on to a particular style of adornment, so they innovated and started creating [bracelets] made of PVC pipe that was just left lying around. This is a recycled jewelry that has its roots in an historical art form but that is also suited to this contemporary age, where recycled art of all kinds is very in.” Carmella Padilla, International Folk Art Alliance, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The rebozo (shawl) is a lovely ikat piece purchased in Guatemala.

Those ikat boots are from Siamese Dream Design on Etsy

The knit dress, leggings and long-sleeved thermal shirt were all thrift store finds. 

I was ecstatic when "tribal" patterns came into popularity several years ago, because these are the patterns that I love. How convenient that they became mainstream!
Back in 2012 Laverne Waddington and I did an exploration at a local trendy shop in Santa Cruz, California, looking at patterns and identifying them according to where they came from. She and I are both big fans of ethnic textiles and recognized many of the motifs. 


  1. What fun! And, too funny! I just started following a sewing blog. He just wrote about African prints, too!

    1. Karen, thanks for that link! What fun! I wish I could sew.

  2. That outfit is so much fun! I love the craziness of all the patterns together - and that you look like you're having a blast rocking the patterns :-)