Born of the Indian Ocean: Discover the Silks of Highland Madagascar
May 2013 – November 2014 (currently online)
Although an island, Madagascar has never been isolated. Situated in the Indian Ocean, at the crossroads of trade networks, its people have long had close ties to Asia, Africa, and Europe. Nowhere is this more visible than in their vibrant textile arts.
The Royal Ontario Museum is home to one of the world’s best collections of silks from highland Madagascar, gathered under the curatorial expertise of Dr. Sarah Fee of ROM Textiles & Fashions. This exhibit takes advantage of this unparalleled collection to explore wildly coloured and patterned 19th-century wraps known as akotifahana. Great works of art, these cloths also had great ceremonial value. The exhibition presents Dr. Fee’s new research into their recent roots in the Indian Ocean… and beyond.