tan with brown painted streaks forming camouflage design; leather tassels overall on front and back; leather-covered mainly square and rectangular button-like embellishments overall; zipper on front top; cowrie shells around neckline; animal teeth and claws hanging from some leather fringes; scattered rectangular and circular leather-backed mirrors

Hunter's shirt, Date Unknown

Unknown artist, expand_more
Not on Viewexpand_more

In most traditional West African societies, hunters are considered to possess exceptional physical and supernatural power. The clothes they wear—shirts, tunics, and caps—symbolize their aggressiveness and “otherness.” In the past, experienced hunters also were leading warriors and strategists. This shirt's cotton is dyed using mud to form the thin, black lines. Traditional elements are the leather strips, mirrors, and little boxes containing quotations from the Qur’an or medicinal plants that have been attached to the shirt, together with teeth, claws and horns of various animal species. Modern elements of the garment include a zipper and plastic button. Usually this kind of garment would be worn for protection during the hunt, but this may be a ceremonial shirt made to honor a particular hunter.

Details
Title
Hunter's shirt
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2012.106.13
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

Does something look wrong with this image? Let us know

tan with brown painted streaks forming camouflage design; leather tassels overall on front and back; leather-covered mainly square and rectangular button-like embellishments overall; zipper on front top; cowrie shells around neckline; animal teeth and claws hanging from some leather fringes; scattered rectangular and circular leather-backed mirrors