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Tunic, ca. 1990s
Djenné, Mali; Bozo, Fulbe
Cotton, embroidery floss, H: 45 in, W: 25 in
Gift of Joseph Knopfelmacher, 1997  97.22.1
Not On View
Interpretation: This tunic was probably made by a "Ghana boy," which is a name given to young Malian men who travel south to urban centers in Ghana for work. The embroidered designs of these tunics combine geometric motifs reminiscent of traditional leatherwork with icons of modernity such as the stoplight and men on motorcycles smoking cigarettes. In recent decades, migrant workers were tunics like these to signal their newfound cosmopolitanism when they return to their homes in Mali.
Provenance: Joseph Knopfelmacher, New York, New York, until 1997; Newark Museum, gift, 1997
Exhibition History:
"Arts of Africa," permanent galleries, Newark Museum, Newark, New Jersey (installed 2008).

"Power Dressing: Men's Fashion and Prestige in Africa", Newark Museum, Newark, New Jersey (October 19, 2005 - January 22, 2006); Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, New York (April 2 - May 28, 2006); Museum of International Folk Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico (December 17, 2006 - February 18, 2007); Memphis Brooks Musum of Art, Memphis, Tennessee (March 19, 2007 - May 20, 2007).

Keywords: Shirt, Tunic, Clothing, Textile, Modern and Contemporary