Heddle Pulley

About this object

History of use

Heddle pulleys are used in strip-weaving, a process that uses very small looms to produce long, narrow strips of cloth. These strips are sewn together to create a larger textile, such as a blanket or a piece of clothing. The small looms are highly portable and easy to assemble. Heddle pulleys, positioned above the loom, help ease the movement of the warp threads. Carved by master carvers, or by the weaver themselves, they are often decorated with animal figures, such as gazelles or hornbills, and more rarely with human figures. Some heddle pulleys evoke the characteristics of the animal portrayed and others offer protection.

Cultural context

weaving; textiles

Physical description

Bird-shaped figure in the formation of a v-shape. No eyes, but has a beak with a hole through the side of the neck. The belly projects outward with a ridge along the middle. A small tail is at the back. The legs form a v-shape and each have a hole through them. On a base (part b).