tunic

Tunic made from brown fabric with a darker brown pattern. It has several pockets, including a pouch on the front and back. There are numerous amulets tied to the tunic by leather strips or string. Most are leather cubes, but some are are made from horn, and two are circular mirrors. There is also a safety pin on the front of the tunic, which has been used to attach one of the mirrors to the garment.

A Bamana hunters’ shirt made of woven strips of dyed cotton using the bogolan (mud cloth) technique. Bogolan or ‘mud cloth’ has tended to be associated with Bamanan hunters. They used to wear the dusty or sandy colours to camouflage themselves in the bush, and amulets were sown onto their shirts to protect them from the vengeance of the animals they have killed. Examples of amulets include mirrors, cowries, and small leather pouches, inside which koranic verses would have been inscribed to help the hunter. The practice of dyeing the material begins with soaking the cotton strips that have been woven together in ngalama leaves with water for several (3 - 4) days. Once dried in the sun, the cloth takes a dusty, brown or sandy colour. The technique of making mud cloth was essentially carried out by women, for the hunters (men). On the hunters’ shirts: sometimes the inscriptions of koranic verses are directly applied to the surface of the tunic, but this doesn’t appear to be the case here. Each hunter's shirt is unique and highly personalised for the wearer. This particular item also has a catapult in the pocket, for use during hunting in the bush.

Collection Information

These objects are only a part of our collections, of which there are more than 350,000 objects. This information comes from our collections database. Some of this is incomplete and there may be errors. This part of the website is also still under construction, so there may be some fields repeated or incorrectly formatted information.

The database sometimes uses language taken from historical documents to help research, which may now appear outdated and even offensive. The database also includes information on objects that are considered secret or sacred by some communities.

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