Chief’s Wrapper (akunitan)

Akan group, Ghana, African

20th century

Elaborately appliquéd or embroidered cloths such as this one are known as cloths of the great and are worn only by chiefs. The motifs are associated with proverbs which constitute a system of verbal and visual royal imagery. Each cloth of the great is in fact a set of allusions to a chief’s power and responsibility. Notice the many royal emblems on this textile, including a royal stool flanked by swords, an elephant, and a crossed crocodiles symbol.

  • Titles Chief's Wrapper (akunitan) (Descriptive)
  • Medium wool; silk
  • Dimensions 120 x 79 in. (304.8 x 200.7 cm)
  • Credit Line Museum purchase through the generosity of Robert Aaron Young, 1988.140
  • Work Type wrapper
  • Classification Costume