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Man's robe
Date: Mid-20th century
Medium: Cotton, indigo dye, natural dye
Dimensions: H x W: 145 x 324cm (57 1/16 x 127 9/16in.)
Credit Line: National Museum of African Art, National Museum of Natural History, purchased with funds provided by the Smithsonian Collections Acquisition Program, 1983-85, EJ11145
Geography: Bida, Nigeria
Object Number: EJ11145
Search Terms:
Male use
Object is not currently on exhibit

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

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