Friday, 28 March 2014

“Costume for a King”–An important Sierra Leone or Liberian robe at the Pitt-Rivers Museum.


A couple of years back a research project at the Pitt-Rivers Museum, Oxford, revealed that a previously undocumented West African robe in their collection was in fact among the founding objects assembled by General Pitt-Rivers in the 1870s, and more remarkably, that the same robe appeared in an article in the Illustrated London News on 28 November 1846.


The robe was among a group of objects collected by a Captain Henry Denham during a naval survey of the West African coast in 1845-6. It belongs among the extremely small number of chiefs’ robes of the type that Bernhard Gardi in his book Le Boubou – C’est Chic (Basel, 2000) ‘boubou Manding’ from Sierra Leone and Liberia.



For full details of this robe in the Pitt-Rivers collection click here and for a notice about the research here.

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