toilet bag

Rectangular canvas bag with embroidered diamond designs in yellow, red, rust, red, blue, dark and light green and brown; on one side the designs take the form of stylised human figures. "The motif woven into the bag is absolutely typical of the Quashgais - though each of the tribal 'ta'ifey' (clans) had their own peculiar motifs." ...'These bags were used by the Bibis (tribal chieftain's women) in which to carry their toilet articles (wooden comb, bits of jewellery, hair brushes etc.) when making the migration northwards in spring, southwards in late summer each year. They were slung on the horn of the saddle, as the ladies (only the tribal leader's family) were excellent horsewomen....The bags were often woven by the ladies themselves and were taken with them when they married to prove to their bridegroioms they were well versed in the tribal arts.' From Major Jackson's correspondence with the Horniman, see his historical file and the letter dated 28th September 1966.

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The database sometimes uses language taken from historical documents to help research, which may now appear outdated and even offensive.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.

If you have any further information about objects in our collections or can suggest corrections to our information, please contact us: