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Afro-Surinamese Textile Heritage

Cover Goma Weri Book — © Tailors & Wearers

The Afro-Surinamese Textile Heritage presentation at the Dutch Design Week exists of a serie angisa's collected by Jane Stjeward-Schubert, and two full koto costumes made by Tailors and Wearers. The symbols, images and drawings printed on the cloths tell the stories of a community and its history.

The embodied koto and angisa

The kotomisi, with her folded headscarf and voluminous, often colorful skirt, is a recognizable image, even for those without a specific connection with Suriname. Around Keti Koti (July 1), Srefidensi (November 25), during other cultural gatherings and on birthdays, Afro-Surinamese women dress in a koto, a yaki, a short jacket, and an angisa, the starched headscarf.

The release of an angisa has a long tradition within the Afro-Surinamese community that goes back to the end of the 19th century. The angisa is made from a printed piece of textile measuring originaly 90 by 90 cm. In addition to preserve and commemorate events depicted on the angisa, the angisa also often bears a given name (an odo) and some headpieces even have messages passed on through the folding methods.

Tailors & Wearers is committed to education, participation and presentation of Afro-Surinamese traditional costume, or African Surinamese fashion and heritage. Acting as a platform, we contribute to preserving, developing and making knowledge and skills about this special material and intangible heritage accessible.

About Tailors & Wearers

Tailors & Wearers functions as a platform and is an initiative of koto and angisa expert Jane Stjeward-Schubert, anthropologist Ella Broek and photographer Michelle Piergoelam. They collect different types of knowledge and organize information about Afro-Surinamese costumes, their makers, collectors and their wearers. By making this knowledge and the personal experiences that surround these fabrics, accessible to others, they contribute to preserving/enlivening Afro-Surinamese cultural heritage.
Masterclass Angisa folding — © Tailors & Wearers
Strijp-S area, Microlab Hall, Kastanjelaan 400 , Map No. 3
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