AGB142 – Unique strip weave indigo hand spun cotton and Saharan silk smock-type robe from northern Benin. Usually these robes were made from just local cotton in a variety of striped and check patterns – this is the only example I know of that also uses expensive and prestigious magenta silk from the trans-Saharan camel caravan trade routes. These robes were high status garments worn by elderly and important men in the northern part of Benin Republic and Togo among a variety of ethnic groups including the Nago (Yoruba) and Cabrais. See the photo for a Cabrais chief wearing a similar piece. The addition of the silk, which works very effectively with the dark indigo cotton, would have elevated this robe to a far higher level of luxury and prestige for the owner. Condition: Has some staining in places on the lining, and some minor wear. Dates from circa 1900.
Measurements: 54 inches x 41, 137 cm x 104.
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