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woman's cape (handira)

Berber Beni Ouarain people

The Berbers are the indigenous people of Morocco and Algeria. A now-settled nomadic group, they produce some of the finest weavings in northwestern Africa.

These types of shawls were prized possessions of the Berber brides and were worn after the wedding on special occasions. More intricate pieces would have required up to two years to make.

The long loose ends were left on the shawl's reverse side to create warmth and insulation for the Berbers, who live in the mountainous regions.


(Frank Hall, New York, New York); purchased by the Indianapolis Museum of Art, 1994.

Object Information

Beni Ouarain people
creation date
early 1900s
wool, cotton
94 1/2 in. x 44 in. | 240.0 x 111.8 cm. (with fringe)
accession number
credit line
Gift of the Alliance of the Indianapolis Museum of Art
No Known Rights Holder
Textile and Fashion Arts

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