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ID number:  BIRRC-D0339
Institution:  Research and Cultural Collections
Named collection:  Danford Collection of West African Art and Artefacts
Title / Object name:  Man's cotton gown (riga)
Object type:  Clothing
Place made:  Nigeria
Culture:  Hausa
Materials:  Cotton
Measurements:  133 x 248 cm
BIRRC-D0339.jpg

The all-over embroidered design employed in this 'riga' is based on the Hausa knot or Islamic magic square, an ancient mathematical design that West African countries took particular interest in during the 13th and 14th centuries, as a spiritual symbol to be used in clothing and religious artefacts. These interlacing motifs are finely patterned and hand-embroidered in pale yellow imported thread on machine-woven imported cream cotton cloth. This particular 'riga' has unfortunately been stained on the back and lower sleeves. It was collected in N. Cameroons before 1928.

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