Exploration of the Ganda-mat as an inspiration for hand-loom weaving.
Babirye, Prisca Nakayima
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Despite the great effort put in by several scholars like Mathias Muwonge- Kyazze (1985), Richard Kabiito (1997), Leslie Robertson (2007) and Catherine Gombe (2007) to examine the history, beauty and functions of the Ganda woven mats; the potential of the Ganda mat as a source of inspiration in loom-weaving has attracted limited scholarly attention. This study focuses on two characteristic designs of the Ganda mat namely: kasisira/kisakaate and kaguudo-ka-leerwe as sources of inspiration in weaving. The researcher has specifically used two methods of weaving: the twill-weave and tapestry, in order to explore the aesthetic qualities of the Ganda mats. Twill weaving involves lines produced by the interlacing of two warp threads with one filling thread in alternate rows, while the term tapestry is used in weaving to refer to a woven picture. The mat has been used in many traditional societies in Africa. For example among the Baganda of central Uganda, the mat is used as a tool for sitting on, for interior decoration, and for transporting beddings among other functions. This study thus examines the use of the Ganda mat as an inspiration for twill and tapestry weaving. It makes a contribution to the broader study of textile design in general, and weaving in particular. In addition, this study has tried to extend the boundaries of knowledge with regard to the technology of mat-weaving in Buganda-a subject that has attracted limited scholarly attention.