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Ogboni Society Title Cloth

Cultural Group: Nigeria, Yoruba people

Date: 20th century
Medium: cotton and dye
Dimensions:
18 1/2 x 51 1/2"
Classification: Information Forms
Credit Line: Gift of Dr. Marcilene Wittmer
Object number: 2004.58.5
DescriptionWomen weave the title cloths for individual Ogboni Society members. Only the member who commissions the cloth knows the true meaning of the images woven into the cloth. They are images abstracted from the natural world – lizards, crocodiles, fish, and frogs – generally referring to water spirits. Concentric diamond patterns prevail. The designs are separated by rows of fringes and the ends are symbolically finished by separating the fringes and wrapping them with string to form seven tassels, a number symbolic to the Ogboni Society.
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