Etu Eight Knives Agbada #3


AGB216 – Fine nineteenth century Nigerian indigo chief’s robe with embroidery in the classic eight knives design.

1 in stock


Fine Nigerian indigo chief’s robe, tailored from narrow 5 cm wide strips in the dark indigo check “etu” pattern, has unusually extensive embroidery in cotton and silk. In the torso of the robe the strips are folded lengthways to make half width, thicker, cloth. The embroidery pattern was called “eight knives”, aska takwas, in Hausa. The cloth and embroidery are more likely to be by Nupe or weavers and embroiderers than Yoruba in this case. However there is a band of magenta silk alaari (silk from the trans-Saharan caravan trade) cloth woven by a Nupe weaver lining the inside of the base. As is often the case with the fragile silk cloth, small areas of this are worn, while the remainder of the robe is in excellent condition. Age is late C19th.
Measurements 252 cm x 116, 8’3″ x 3’10”

All items on this site are vintage. That means that they may have a few small marks or blemishes consistent with use. We will try to highlight any significant issues in the description above but in the event you are not happy with your purchase please notify us within 48 hours of receipt and you may return it for a full refund (excluding return shipping costs.)