Another of the big home furnishings catalogs has started featuring ethnic art. They’re showing African “inspired” tables and Thai “style” throw pillows. I’m glad! Archeo collectors have been living this design genre for years! And I get it. These manufacturers need to produce pieces by the hundreds. They’re designing for the masses.
So aren’t we the fortunate few? We have pieces that have been touched by tribal hands. Pieces that still carry the smell of smoke, holding an echo of the people and places that created them.
I was just admiring an Ethiopian headrest in the gallery. Every corner is worn smooth by decades of use. The topmost piece of wood is deeply varnished with a natural oil. Our reseach shows that it’s palm oil – used by the tribal people as a balm and also to enrich and preserve wood.
This piece is an individual – and it should belong to an individual. How about you?