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Wodaabe Hip Wraps

Embroidered head covering or hip wrap for Wodaabe woman.  Late 20th century. Embroidered head covering or hip wrap for Wodaabe woman. Late 20th century. © Trustees of the British Museum, London, acc. no. Af2005,04.23.

The Wodaabe are a sub-group of the Fula people, many of whom are nomads that live in the southern Sahara. The Wodaabe make use of various embroidered cloths and garments, especially during their annual dances. One of these garments is a rectangle made of sewn, handwoven strips of cotton in dark blue and light blue. This form is normally embroidered along one long edge and one short edge.

This type of cloth seems to be used by women as a wrap-around skirt, but also sometimes as a head covering. However, very similar cloths are described elsewhere as men’s wrap-around kilts used during the yake dance. What and if there is a difference is not clear, and may depend on the colour of the ground cloth and the quantity of embroidery employed.

See also the TRC Needles entry on Wodaabe embroidery.

Sources:

British Museum online catalogue (retrieved 8th June 2016).

GVE

Last modified on Friday, 05 May 2017 13:35