Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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berash (palm leaf fiber mat)
  • Hawazma peoples
  • berash (palm leaf fiber mat), 1983–1984
  • Where object was made: Kadugli, Kurdufān (present-day Southern Kordofan), Sudan
  • palm leaf fiber, weaving, dyeing
  • Object Length/Width: 187 x 101 cm
    Object Length/Width: 73 5/8 x 39 3/4 in
  • Museum purchase: KUEA Funds
  • Not on display
  • 2007.2786
Multimedia
Description

The rectangular mat is made of woven palm leaf fibers. It has a wide center stripe with a natural colored field and joined diamonds in orange and purple with a center triangle of green and light natural stripes that are joined by stripes from the adjoining colors. The design is repeated three times (one in the center and one at both ends) with a smaller iteration between them (without the purple diamonds). The wide center stripe has a dark blue stripe on either side, with a light natural and dark blue line with two sets of zigzags. Then there is a purple stripe, orange stripe, blue-green stripe, orange, and purple stripe. The blue-green woven band is stitched on with a light natural zigzag.

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.