Wadabi Ceremonial Shirt
This ceremonial short tunic is from the Wadabe people of Niger. The Wadabe are well known for their spectacular annual coming of age ceremonies. The tunics and shirts can be open-sided and worn over a plain leather wrapped skirt. Contemporary examples are usually made from cheaper imported cloth and embroidered with bold colors. The tunic is embroidered almost entirely in chain and buttonhole stitch on strip woven cloth. During this ceremony young men dress up and wear elaborate makeup to beautify themselves in the hope of being chosen by one of the females of the tribe. It is very common for young men to carry mirrors and openly preen themselves in this society.
Circa: early 20th century
Condition: Fair, some loose threads and slight soil
Dimensions: 20" x 13"
Inventory number: WR3791