Over-sized men's clothing equates to importance. In northern Nigeria, large embroidered robes that are worn, or given to subordinates, are indicative of high status. The triangular knife pattern and the calligraphic spiral rosette may have an underlying protective symbolism that has been overlaid with commercial trade value.
Large indigo dyed blue robe of hand spun cotton, with white embroidery and lined with red and yellow cloth woven in Bida.
Venice and Alastair Lamb, acquired Bida
TxtStyles: Fashioning Identity, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., June 11-December 7, 2008