Aug 24, 2010
Aug 24, 2010

Under apron (iinkciya)

Under apron (iinkciya)

1800s–1900s

Leather, glass beads, and sinew

Overall: 34 x 18 x 2.5 cm (13 3/8 x 7 1/16 x 1 in.)

Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 2010.206

Location

On view at:

The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Nov 10, 2022 - Feb 27, 2023

Did you know?

Women made beaded "aprons" like this to wear under their clothes on festive occasions in the nineteenth century; expensive imported beads were a sign of wealth and status.

Description

This is an exquisite example of a rare type of swallowtail-shaped apron worn by young female initiates until the mid-19th century. On the upper portion, the black beads were applied in such a way that they can be read as a human face or even as a full figure. In fact, the overall form of the apron can be viewed as representing the lower torso and legs of a woman with a neatly marked pubic region.

See also
Collection: 
African Art
Department: 
African Art
Type of artwork: 
Garment

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