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Robe (Riga Saki)

A work made of cotton, narrow strips of plain weave; pieced; embroidered with cotton in buttonhole, knotted buttonhole, open chain, and stem stitches; edged with oblique interlacing.

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  • A work made of cotton, narrow strips of plain weave; pieced; embroidered with cotton in buttonhole, knotted buttonhole, open chain, and stem stitches; edged with oblique interlacing.

Date:

1940s

Artist:

Nupe or Hausa
Nigeria

About this artwork

Embroidered robes in this particular style are still worn by men across northern West Africa, where they are associated with Islamic culture. Such garments enhance the wearer’s physical size and thus his social status. The use of expensive indigo dye (saki) is also a sign of prestige.

To embellish the robe, the “eight knives” motif has been combined with a spiral pattern that carries cosmological significance in the Muslim context.

On View

Textiles, Gallery 137

Culture

Nupe

Title

Robe (Riga Saki)

Origin

Nigeria

Date

Made 1940–1949

Medium

Cotton, narrow strips of plain weave; pieced; embroidered with cotton in buttonhole, knotted buttonhole, open chain, and stem stitches; edged with oblique interlacing

Dimensions

134.4 x 256.4 cm (52 7/8 x 101 in.)

Credit Line

Restricted gift of Mr. and Mrs. David C. Ruttenberg

Reference Number

1986.1004

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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