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(34,149 posts)
Tue Dec 8, 2015, 06:17 PM Dec 2015

Anyone ever heard of a "tilet"?

I'm transcribing a will by a woman whose husband died twenty years before she did in 1838. Apparently the only things she could leave were personal possessions. She leaves things like "counterpins" - probably counterpains or bed covers, watey or watery, a culglap, and a bred basket.

The thing that shows up most often is a tilet. She leaves one cousin a "pine table painted tilet" and a number of women one tilet each.

Does anyone here have any clue what any of the mystery items might be?

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(34,149 posts)
4. I like that concept - and that would fit with the weaving techniques of the area.
Tue Dec 8, 2015, 09:17 PM
Dec 2015

Even today the local weavers make various cloths with simple designs woven into the borders.

I'd googled "tilet" but all I got was a Scrabble dictionary entry that said it wasn't a word.


(1,557 posts)
2. Could it be a mis-spelling, or a phonetic spelling, maybe?
Tue Dec 8, 2015, 08:01 PM
Dec 2015

Found "counterpin" in dictionary.com listed as South Midland and Southern U.S. dialect, and maybe "toilette" could have lost the "wah" sound and just become a long i in Southern speech. A number of dressing tables, or "tilets" makes me curious, though.


(3,892 posts)
3. I've never heard of it before. Here is the one context that I was able to find...
Tue Dec 8, 2015, 08:35 PM
Dec 2015

other than oblique mentionings of fabric patterns on Pinterest:

Jannes Waples Gibson

Tibeb in this presentation refers to the decoration or pattern which is handwoven with supplementary weft into the border of the shämma (or shemma) worn by women and men in Ethiopia and Eritrea. The shämma traditionally was worn by the Christian populations of the northern and central highlands. (1) Today one can find cloth with the woven tibeb in most markets. There is no imported textile sold in Ethiopia today that takes the place of these valued textiles. Ethiopian artist Maitre Afewerk Tekle has captured the special feeling among Ethiopians for the fine cotton shämma in his painting "Mother Ethiopia" painted in 1963. The woven multicolored tibeb is a recent addition to an ancient way of dressing. It appeared at the time of Emperor Menilek II who took power in 1898 establishing his capital in Addis Ababa. (2) Members of the aristocracy wore shämma with a single color red tilet border that may be the precursor to the tibeb. (3)




Ethiopia: 'Tilet'- the Old And the New
By Mariam Belay

The invitation came in an envelope. Inside was not paper or card as usual, but a piece of white hand-made fabric, woven into it with colored thread. "Tilet Art Exhibition, Alem Gallery, Thursday October 27."

The idea of the invitation piece was both innovative and impressive and so was the exhibition. After spending about three months during summer time at "Shiro Meda", where hundreds of weavers are situated making Ethiopian traditional clothes, the owner of the gallery, Tirsit Mengesha organized Thursday's exhibition.


Good luck on your search! (If you ever have the chance to try Ethiopian cuisine, it is highly recommended.)

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