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Shoulder Cloth

Yoruba people Ijebu


This type of prestigious cloth is often worn on the left shoulder by high-ranking members of the Yoruba Ogboni society in Nigeria. Senior members of the society commission these cloths as gifts to present to newly initiated members.

Woven by women for use by both men and women, these shoulder cloths often have a few shaggy sections and are decorated with a variety of motifs—in this case, frogs—and words. The fringe on each end of this example is divided into seven sections, a significant number for the Ogboni, and is wrapped with thread to create elaborate tassels.

(Yomi Akinsanya), Chicago; IMA (March 19, 1987).

Object Information

culture
Yoruba people
culture
Ijebu
creation date
1960s-1970s
materials
cotton
dimensions
47 x 14 7/8 in.
accession number
1987.21
credit line
Costume Fund
collection
Textile and Fashion Arts