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Hunter's shirt
Date: Mid-20th century
Medium: Cotton, leather, animal horns, iron bell
Dimensions: H x W: 108 x 120 cm (42 1/2 x 47 1/4 in.)
Credit Line: Museum purchase
Geography: Burkina Faso
Object Number: 2005-10-1
Search Terms:
Male use
Object is not currently on exhibit

The rich brown color and irregular shape of the medicine bundles and the horns attached to the tunic symbolize the powers of the wilderness, which hunters must control to work safely. The sound from the bell on the hunter's shirt may have driven dangerous predators or harmful wilderness spirits from the hunter's path. The wrapped packets are of leather, suggesting the shirt came from the cultivated world of a village. They often contain folded paper inscribed with passages from the Qur'an, Islam's sacred book, to invoke the power of the Word for protection.

Cotton strip cloth shirt, in an overall dark brown color. Rectangular and triangular leather packets cover the upper chest area; some are red cloth packets, some are cylindral packets. There is also a leather covered horn and an iron bell.

Andres Moraga, 2003 to 2005

Pierre Loos, Brussels, -- to 2003

Acquired Bobo Dialasso, Burkina Faso, early 1960s

TxtStyles: Fashioning Identity, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., June 11-December 7, 2008

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