Object Record

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Collection African Art Collection
Object Name Pulley
Other Name Heddle Pulley
Catalog Number 1976.1.9
Accession Number 1976.1
Description African Heddle pulley, from the Ivory Coast. Senufo tribe. Appears as an inverted letter "Y." A weaving tool. Two holes 1 inch from each of the pulley's legs in which the rod and bobbin to hold the thread is missing. Handle is shaped like a bird head with a beak that is pointed down. There are vertical notches along the neck and base of the bird head. Two large notches on side of bird head and one of the pulley's leg has been reattached with metal tacks.

Heddle pulleys are believed to have originated from the Guro, Baule and Senufo peoples of the Ivory Coast, West Africa. They are usually associated with the horizontal treadle loom. The heddle pulley is connected by a cord to the horizontal post above the loom to a series of components below. When the weaver depresses the foot pedals alternatively the bobbin or wheel on the pulley rotates to raise and lower the warp (threads) during the weaving process. Pulleys, an inverted letter "Y," are mostly made out of wood and are passed down from one weaver to another. Usually plain in decoration aside from their abstract and geometric formed heads. Bird heads are common on pulleys made by the Senufo while carved human heads decorate the pulleys made by the Guro and Baule. Today, the Senufo appear to be the last to keep alive the traditional use of the heddle pulleys.
People Senufo Tribe
Subjects Africa.
Cote d' Ivoire
Ivory Coast
Senufo Tribe