Presentation cloth (aso oke)

African, Nigerian (Yoruba peoples)
about 1950
Woven by Alhadji Yahaya Kalu (Nigerian, about 1890–1982)


Overall: 287 x 154.9 cm (113 x 61 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Strip-woven cotton plain weave with supplementary rayon patterning wefts

Not On View


Africa and Oceania, Contemporary Art, Textiles and Fashion Arts



Presentation cloth or aso oke made of pieced strips of cotton double cloth in blue and white check pattern. Yellow silk discontinuous wefts decorate the front of the textile, occasionally going through to the reverse.

The Yoruba master weaver Alhadji Yahaya Kalu worked in the town of Ilorin. He was famous for presentation cloths that are patterned on both front and back. His work was sought after both by Nigerians and Europeans, and some of his stunning cloths were exhibited during the 1924/25 British Empire Exhibition at Wembley in northwest London.


By January 2006, Madam Abiona, Ibadan, Nigeria; purchased from Abiona by Duncan Clarke, London; before 2009, purchased from Clarke by Olaperi Onipede, Watertown, MA; gift of Onipede to the MFA (Accession date: April 14, 2010)

Credit Line

Gift of Olaperi Onipede in memory of her parents, Dr. F. Oladipo Onipede and Mrs. Frances A. Onipede