- Museum number
Tunic composed of 12 lengths of hand plain woven cotton hand sewn together selvedge to selvedge. Each narrow strip is composed of bleached white and dyed blue cotton forming two central blue stripes running the full length of the narrow strips on a white background. The cap sleaves end in two ties with dyed red, black, orange and green tassels. The neck of the tunic is decorated with dyed green, black, orange and red wool in geometric patterning.
- Production date
- 1974 ((?)acquired by vendor)
Length: 85.50 centimetres
Width: 69.50 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Voluminous gowns, known as riga, are worn by Muslim men in northern Nigeria, especially among the Hausa and Nupe people. The gowns are notable for their often lavish silk (or cotton) embroidery around the left neck and chest area (over a large pocket) which sometimes continues onto the back of the gown. These elaborate designs, worked by male craftsmen, are named. The most popular and common motif is the 'aska takwas', eight knives. The gowns are composed of narrow strips of cloth, the most prestigious and expensive using silk, sewn together to form this characteristic wide-sleeved garment.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- 2008 (8 September)
- Acquisition notes
- This collection was made over a ten year period in the late 1960s and early 1970s when the vendor and collector, Dr David Heathcote, was Head of Art History at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, northern Nigeria. His PhD research focused on the study of Hausa embroidered dress; this collection was formed as a result of his extensive field research.
This gown was purchased for 5 naira (£2.15.0) on 21 March 1970 at the market in the village of Sabon Gari, just outside Zaria.
- Africa, Oceania and the Americas
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: C192 (Heathcote collection number)