Collection online

tunic

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    Af1940,23.1

  • Description

    Narrow strip cotton tunic decorated with painted patterns. Leather-covered amulets sewn to inside of upper part of tunic.

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 88 centimetres
    • Width: 91 centimetres
  • Curator's comments

    Register 1940:
    'Jibbeh'

    W. Sudan (?)

    Register 1940 later addition:
    [N.Nigeria? (W.B.F.)](LaGamma and C. Giuntini, 2008)
    ‘Every inch of this simple cotton tunic was inscribed and invested with prayers by an itinerant Hausa artist who sought to transform it into a mantle of invulnerability. The extraordinary measures taken suggest that the garment was made for an important warrior to wear into battle. The Islamic belief in the power of the Koran’s written word is manifested here in a creation configured so its Koranic texts encase the body, affording a line of mystical defence superior to armour’ (LaGamma and C. Giuntini, 2008. The Essential Art of African Textiles: Design Without End. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: New York).

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  • Location

    Not on display

  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:
    2011-2012, 6 Oct-19 Feb, London, The British Museum, 'Grayson Perry: The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman', exhibition
    2008-2009 Sep-Apr, New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Essential Art of African Textiles: Design without end

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1940

  • Department

    Africa, Oceania & the Americas

  • Registration number

    Af1940,23.1

Register 1940:  Cotton garment tunic made of woven string 1 inch wide covered with inscribed koranic symbols in colour and leather charms strewn inside the upper part of the garment.

Register 1940: Cotton garment tunic made of woven string 1 inch wide covered with inscribed koranic symbols in colour and leather charms strewn inside the upper part of the garment.

Image description

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Object reference number: EAF18070

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