This pictorial Korhogo cloth was produced by the Senufo people of the Ivory Coast, West Africa and is named after the local village (Korhogo) where these types of cloths first originated. As the motifs imply, Korhogo cloths use striking imagery and symbolism to tell stories. For example, motifs of fish represent life and abundance, birds represent freedom, goats represent male prowess and hunters represent the mysteries of the universe. According to Esther Warner Dendel in African Fabric Crafts (1974) p.143, these cloths '...were worn by hunters and members of the secret Poro society in older times' (the Poro society is a secret society in Sierra Leone and Liberia exclusive to men only), but in more recent times have been marketed specifically to tourists.
This particular cloth forms part of a larger collection of textiles donated under the cultural gifts scheme by Dr John Yu in memory of Dr George Soutter. This collection also includes raphia applique wraps skirts, raphia velvet cloths and pictorial cloths from the Kuba people of the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire), Kente Ashanti cloths from Ghana and European paisley.