12 / 2004

Nigeria - Tribal chief's boot with glass-beaded decoration

One fifth of the population of Nigeria belongs to the Yoruba tribe. They are concentrated on the Plateau of Yorubaland in the southern part of Nigeria. Social status in this tribe is indicated by the quantity of glass beads on shoes and boots. Geometrical patterns, masks and animal figures are used as motifs. This boot is made of a soft leather upper, cloth-lined and decorated with thousands of multicolour glass beads. It gives away that it was worn by a chief of exeptional high status.

Research and text by : W.A.H.M. Habraken-Oosterhout-Holland
Illustration by : Colin Ball - Waalwijk - Holland