By Victoria Rovine
University of Florida (formerly University of Iowa)

Nigeria; Hausa peoples


Cotton, silk


H. 127 cm (50 in)

University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art, In memory of Diana Benz from her friends and family.  Contributors to the Diana J. Benz Memorial Fund: Astrid Bennett, John Benz, Jackie Blank, Natalie Brody, Sarah Brown, Barbara Buckley, Eve Dolch, Judith Dows, Sally Fedge, Judith Hurtig, Mary Lea Kruse, 1988.33

Agbada are generally decorated with variations on sets of standard designs in use for more than a century. This robe is decorated with a variant of the aksa buyu ("two knives") pattern. Robes such as this are often classified as Hausa, though they are made and worn by members of many other ethnic groups in Nigeria and beyond. In fact, a single robe may combine the artistic efforts of members of several different ethnic groups, such as Yoruba weavers and Hausa and Nupe embroiderers.