Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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berash (palm leaf fiber mat)
  • unknown Hawazma maker
  • berash (palm leaf fiber mat), 1984
  • Where object was made: Kadugli, Kurdufān (present-day Southern Kordofan), Sudan
  • palm leaf fiber, weaving, dyeing
  • Object Length/Width: 381 x 140 cm
    Object Length/Width: 150 x 55 1/8 in
  • Museum purchase: KUEA Funds
  • Not on display
  • 2007.2783

The large rectangular palm leaf fiber mat is woven in a plaited, herringbone pattern. Along the top and bottom of the mat there are horizontal bands of colored fibers, from the outside in the bands are purple, orange, green, orange, and green. Along the outside edge is a thicker band of plaited green fibers forming the border. In the center of the mat, when viewed from one side it appears to be woven from plain, undyed fibers. When viewed from the other side, there appears to be a houndstooth pattern of alternating, wide, vertical bands of orange and green, mixed with undyed fibers.

It was used for sitting on the ground or decorating the interior walls of the house. The decorated berash would be used to decorate the inside of houses, and the undecorated ones were more likely used on the ground or on the outside of the house. The colored berash would only be used on the outside of a house at a marriage.