shoulder cloth

 
Culture
Yoruba people
Culture
Ijebu
Creation date
Materials
cotton
Dimensions
47 x 14 7/8 in.
Credit line
Costume Fund
Accession number
1987.21
Collection
Not Currently On View

This type of prestigious cloth is often worn on the left shoulder by high-ranking members of the Yoruba Ogboni society in Nigeria. Senior members of the society commission these cloths as gifts to present to newly initiated members.

Woven by women for use by both men and women, these shoulder cloths often have a few shaggy sections and are decorated with a variety of motifs—in this case, frogs—and words. The fringe on each end of this example is divided into seven sections, a significant number for the Ogboni, and is wrapped with thread to create elaborate tassels.

(Yomi Akinsanya), Chicago; IMA (March 19, 1987).
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