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Tunic

1870-1890 (made), 1870-1890 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This type of cotton tunic decorated with wool patches are known as Jibbas and are associated with the Mahdi of Sudan. In 1881 Muhammad Ahmad, a Sufi leader proclaimed himself ‘prophesied redeemer of Islam’ or Mahdi. He led a holy war against the Ottoman-Egyptian ruling class of Sudan gaining control of Khartoum in 1885. He died shortly after but the Mahdist state survived until 1898.

Jibbas developed from a form of dress worn by the Mahdi’s early followers known as a muraqqa’a. Muraqqa’a were ragged patched garments worn by followers of Sufi religious orders to denote their rejection of worldly goods. However, as the Mahdi state became more established it was transformed into this more formal tunic with patches that are clearly decorative rather than functional. There were several different styles of jibba which are believed to reflect the regional affiliation of the wearer.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Cotton, appliqué of woollen face-cloth
Brief Description
Jibba, patched cotton tunic, Sudan, 1870-1890
Physical Description
Cotton tunic decorated with appliqué of woollen face-cloth panels.
Dimensions
  • Length: 38.5in
  • Width: 48in
Object history
Displayed in "V and A Africa: Exploring Hidden Histories"

15th November 2012- 3rd February 2013
Summary
This type of cotton tunic decorated with wool patches are known as Jibbas and are associated with the Mahdi of Sudan. In 1881 Muhammad Ahmad, a Sufi leader proclaimed himself ‘prophesied redeemer of Islam’ or Mahdi. He led a holy war against the Ottoman-Egyptian ruling class of Sudan gaining control of Khartoum in 1885. He died shortly after but the Mahdist state survived until 1898.



Jibbas developed from a form of dress worn by the Mahdi’s early followers known as a muraqqa’a. Muraqqa’a were ragged patched garments worn by followers of Sufi religious orders to denote their rejection of worldly goods. However, as the Mahdi state became more established it was transformed into this more formal tunic with patches that are clearly decorative rather than functional. There were several different styles of jibba which are believed to reflect the regional affiliation of the wearer.

Associated Object
Collection
Accession Number
CIRC.563-1967

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record createdJune 24, 2009
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