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Man's Corset

Arts of Africa

On View: African Storage Annex, East Gallery, 1st Floor
Dinka men regularly wear beaded corsets, partly as indicators of their age group and position. The yellow beads in this corset suggest that it may have been designed for a man over the age of thirty. The glass beads and wire used in making such corsets are imported products, making the outfits considerable markers of status and prestige.
CULTURE Dinka
MEDIUM Beads, fiber, wire
  • Place Made: Sudan
  • DATES 20th century
    DIMENSIONS 18 x 16 in. (45.7 x 40.6 cm)  (show scale)
    COLLECTIONS Arts of Africa
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in African Storage Annex, East Gallery, 1st Floor
    ACCESSION NUMBER 1997.1.1
    CREDIT LINE Carll H. de Silver Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Dinka. Man's Corset, 20th century. Beads, fiber, wire, 18 x 16 in. (45.7 x 40.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Carll H. de Silver Fund, 1997.1.1. Creative Commons-BY
    IMAGE overall, 1997.1.1_PS6.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2011
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Beaded corset supported in the back by a long narrow rectangular form of rigid wire covered with brown fiber. The wire form, across which rows of beads are strung , is 3/4 in. wide and worn against the spine. The front open support is made of two rigid wires covered with brown fiber, one on either side, with alternating small wire loops all the way down, through which a third , seperate uncovered wire with a large loop at one end is pushed through to close the corset. There are ties on the top and bottom. Long strands of beads each stitched to the corset's support wires, are arranged to make bands of color that drape along the sides of the torso. The widest band of beads is yellow: narrower bands are red, dark blue, and light blue. Yellow is worn by Dinka men over 30 years old. Condition: Good. Fiber worn slightly.
    RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (87%)
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