SHIRT, cotton, cotton embroidery and applique, buttons

Man's Dance Tunic, 20th century

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The Wodaabe, one of the few remaining nomadic peoples in Africa, migrate freely within several countries in West Africa but predominate in Niger. Using traditional patterns and adhering to a common cultural aesthetic, they create colorful, richly embroidered garments that are worn at feasts and dances that take place during the rainy season.

Both men and women may design and embroider their costumes, but it is primarily women who practice this art form. Variations of chain stitch and feather stitch are used to create intricate, repetitive patterns that are designed around a symmetrical axis. The patterns are handed down from one generation to the next and have names that refer to aspects of their nomadic life, such as calf-rope, winding road, star in the evening sky, or encampment.

Man's Dance Tunic
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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SHIRT, cotton, cotton embroidery and applique, buttons