Yoruba man’s tunic and trousers, Nigeria

Made in Nigeria, 1950-1997.

This man’s tunic and matching trousers are typical examples of traditional dress worn by the Yoruba people of Nigeria in the early 20th century. The outfit formed part of a farewell gift from his father to Abiola Buhari, a young Yoruba man, when he married Australian Clare Maguire at the Registry Office in Lagos in August 1997. The gift was made when the couple left Nigeria for Australia and its significance relates to the Yoruba belief that the possession of gowns and valuable cloth equates to ...


Outfit, mens, tunic (dandogo) and matching trousers, cotton, made by the Yoruba people, Nigeria, c. 1950 - 1997

This outfit comprises a tunic and matching trousers in fawn, yellow-striped cotton. The tunic has two slit-like pocket openings and is machine-embroidered in yellow around the neck, around the side slits and scattered over the front. The trousers are not embroidered and have side pockets and a drawstring waist. The facings of the tunic and the top of the trousers are machine-made blue cotton.


This man's tunic and matching trousers are made from typical, narrow striped cotton (asa-oke) which is made by Yoruba men in long narrow strips. The men weave in groups of up to 20, using a narrow horizontal loom strung with an extremely long, machine made cotton warp that stretches out as far as 12m in front of them. These looms are equipped with two heddles and a reed for beating the cloth. The fabric produced on these narrow strip looms is usually 10-12m long and only 10cm wide. After it's taken from the loom, it is either sold as is or stitched into square pieces of cloth which are sold to tailors in the markets to be made up into clothing.

The tunic of this outfit is a variant of a northern-style robe developed by the Yoruba. It has two slit-like openings in the front, which originally enabled the wearer to hold the reins of a horse. The tunic has been machine embroidered on the front, around the neck and around the front slits. In addition to straight bands of satin stitch, the 'endless knot' motif, an Islamic design associated with prestige, has been used.


Gift of Clare Maguire, 2006
4 October, 2006

Cite this Object

Yoruba man's tunic and trousers, Nigeria 2016, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 19 November 2017, <https://ma.as/345930>
{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/345930 |title=Yoruba man's tunic and trousers, Nigeria |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=19 November 2017 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}
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