|Type of Object||Grand Boubou|
|Country of Origin||Nigeria, Niger|
|People||Nupe, see also Yoruba, Hausa|
|Materials||Cotton, rayon, some combination cotton silk|
|Approximate Age||Second half 20th century|
|Dimensions||53 Inches L. x 88 Inches W:|
|Overall Condition||Good. Most of our pieces have spent decades on at least two continents, and have been treasured by several owners. Small splits, scrapes and cracks are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use. We examine each piece carefully when we receive it and report any damage we find in our listings. Please look carefully at the pictures which may also reveal condition and damage.|
|Damage/Repair||Stains, holes, wrinkles|
We do not recommend laundering textiles, and do not accept returns of textiles which have been laundered in any manner. Even dry cleaning is too much for some of these antique textiles. For some of them, a very gentle HAND washing (NEVER MACHINE, on any setting) in cool water with a very gentle detergent works, but even then, dyes may not be colorfast, and fabric may be less strong than it appears.
A wonderful boubou also called Royal Robe coming from the Nupe people and also found among the Hausa and Yoruba. Works and motifs on this boubou are more likely of Nupe origin. These robes, worn bunched at the shoulders, are called "grand boubous." Among the Nupe such robes are named "Agbada" and used as prestige costumes. This is a part of a outfit worn by men on special ceremonies, including engagements, weddings, naming ceremonies for babies, chief title ceremonies, and religious holidays, both Christian and Islamic. Traditionally, the extent of the embroidery on a boubou identifies the wealth of the owner. The hand-embroidered patterns in silk were reserved to the wealthiest people.
The present boubou is made out of cotton cloth combined with wild silk and decorated with superb embroidered motifs around the collar and on the chest and the back in wild silk. This is a delightful boubou with elaborate embroideries and in good condition!
For similar examples see: Sieber's AFRICAN TEXTILES AND DECORATIVE ARTS, MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, NEW YORK . See also similar examples, and learn more (especially if you read German!) in BOUBOU-C'EST CHIC, from the Museum der Kulturen, Basel, by Christoph Merian Verlag.