Africa At Noon on April 20, 2016

“Chinese and Nigerian Textile Manufacture and Trade”

Elisha P. Renne, Departments of Afroamerican and African Studies/Anthropology, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

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Time and Location

12:00pm, 206 Ingra­ham Hall, 1155 Obser­va­tory Drive, Madi­son, WI


The United Nigerian Textiles Limited (UNTL) mill—the largest in northern Nigeria— was established in Kaduna in 1964. UNTL, which represented a partnership between the Hong Kong-based CHA Group and the Nigerian Northern Regional Development Corporation, provided printed cotton textiles to Nigerian and other West African markets until the mill closed in 2007. Nonetheless, the CHA Group continues its involvement in textile manufacturing in Lagos and marketing through its brand of Da Viva® high-quality cotton textiles sold at authorized dealerships throughout Nigeria.

Elisha P. Renne is a professor in the Department of Anthropology and the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies, University of Michigan. Renne’s research in Nigeria focuses on her continuing interest in issues relating to textile history and the anthropology of cloth. She has received several grants for support of her research, which included an NSF Dissertation Research Grant (Cloth That Does Not Die, 1995), a Getty Foundation Collaborative Research Grant for the co-edited volume, Yoruba Religious Textiles (2005); a Fulbright Senior Fellowship for the project, “New Technologies of Machine-Embroidered Robe Production and Changing Gender Roles in Zaria, Nigeria” (Textile History, 2007); a Guggenheim Research Fellowship (2012-2013) for her manuscript, “Veils, Turbans and Islamic Reform in Northern Nigeria” and the edited volume, Veiling in Africa (2013); and a Pasold Research Fund grant for research on Nigerian-Chinese textile trade (Textile, 2016).