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Man’s hooded cape (akhnif)
Atlas Mountains, Morocco
Late 19th – early 20th century
Goat hair, woven and embroidered
L: 92; W: 300 cm
Gift of Baroness Alix de Rothschild, Paris
Accession number: B73.1076

In the southern Atlas Mountains, the akhnif, a hooded cape, was a standard man’s garment worn by both Muslims and Jews. It was typically black, and there was an intricate woven orange decoration on the back in a pattern resembling an eye.

In compliance with local laws, Jews wore the garment inside out so as to mark them as Jews. Thus only the dangling threads of the inner side were visible, and only when the akhnif was rolled up to the shoulders was the pattern revealed in all its splendor. See photo from the archive.

From the Israel Museum publications:
The Israel Museum, Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2005
Juhasz, Esther (ed.), The Jewish Wardrobe from the Collection of The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 5 Continents Editions, Milan and The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 2012

Digital presentation of this object was made possible by: The Ridgefield Foundation, New York, in memory of Henry J. and Erna D. Leir

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