Skirt, childs, framed, raffia / animal hide / hair / wood / glass, maker unknown, Dida, Ivory Coast, 1953-2001
In African culture, fabrics and patterns used in dress help to reveal information about the social status of the wearer, including their age and what tribe they belong to. This animal skin skirt was most likely made for a girl to wear during a rites ceremony marking her entrance into adulthood. The use of animal skin is a symbol of chastity and could also be worn by males as well.
This skirt forms part of an extensive collection of textiles, dress and handiwork assembled from 1953 to 2001 by Mrs Helen McLeod Crocker, traveller and collector. Almost thirty countries are represented in the collection including Afghanistan, Australia, Bali, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Central America, Central Asia, China, Europe, India, Japan, Kenya, Lao, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Salvador, Somalia, South America, Syria, Thailand, The Ivory Coast, Turkey and Yemen. Helen was very selective in the objects she acquired and the inspiration for her collection originated from her desire to preserve the true essence of the societies she encountered.
This skirt was made in Dida, Ivory Coast between 1953-2001.
This skirt may have been produced by the Bambara people of the Ivory Coast from goat's hide.