large black cape with pointed hood; burnt-orange soft diamond shape on back with maroon band and dark blue, tan, and maroon ikat designs; geometric border separating orange from black; hair-like fringe; small metal rings attached for hanging

Cape, late 19th century

expand_more

Brocaded woolexpand_more

The Lotus Stack Textiles Endowmentexpand_more  2018.1.1

Not on Viewexpand_more

In rural Morocco, Amazigh (Berber) and Jewish men both wore this type of cape, which offered multiple layers of protection. Woven of heavy goat wool and hair, it enfolded the wearer in its warmth and shielded him from the elements in the Atlas Mountains. The large orange shape on the back symbolizes a dramatic eye, meant to protect the wearer from the harmful forces of the evil eye. Belief that someone’s malicious glare has the power to cause misfortune or injury is widespread among Mediterranean cultures.
The addition of this iconic hooded cape greatly strengthens the already rich collection of Moroccan textiles at Mia. It is a tour de force of weaving: the remarkable shape of the cape and its eye-shaped motif are produced through a complex technique of manipulating warps and adding wefts in different places.

Zoom in on the left to the detail you'd like to save. Click 'Save detail' and wait until the image updates. Right click the image to 'save image as' or copy link, or click the image to open in a new tab.

large black cape with pointed hood; burnt-orange soft diamond shape on back with maroon band and dark blue, tan, and maroon ikat designs; geometric border separating orange from black; hair-like fringe; small metal rings attached for hanging