Cape

cape

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Type: Clothing - Garment
Object Name: Cape
Local Name: akhnif
Place Made: Africa: North Africa, Morocco, High Atlas Mountains
People: Berber, Ait Ouaouzguite tribe
Period: Mid 20th century
Date: 1930 - 1970
Dimensions: L 152 cm x W 240 cm
Materials: Wool; goat hair; cotton; slit tapestry woven
Techniques: Weft-faced; supplementary weft; interlocking tapestry woven; embroidered; plain woven
ID Number: T86.0035
Credit: Gift of Dorothy K. Burnham

Hooded robes are commonly used traditional men’s outer garments in northwest Africa. Long and generous in girth, they allow for all kinds of activity while covering the body in accordance with Islamic tradition. Akhnif is worn by the Berber and Jewish populations of the High Atlas Mountains. It is woven to shape on the loom, similarly to the cloaks of Coptic Egypt. The large eye design, believed to lend spiritual protection against the evil eye, is executed in red or yellow on a dark background of local, shiny wool, and is the distinguishing feature of akhnif.