cache-sexe (loin cloth)

Turkana peopleearly to mid 1900s

Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields

Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields

For this report the animal skin will be referred to as hair-skin. This material might be raw skin (untreated skin as opposed to leather) considering it is hard and brittle. It might be pseudo-leather if it has been impregnated with fatty materials, but this will need to be confirmed with further analysis. It does not appear to have been tanned, and cannot therefore be termed leather. The terms pelt, hide, and fur-skin are specific to certain materials, and the material in question here does not fit neatly into these established definitions.

This cache-sex is composed of a piece of animal hair-skin onto which decorations consisting of vertebrae, shells and beads are attached. A single piece of hair-skin is used to form the majority of the piece; at each of the upper corners a thin piece of hair-skin is attached which would function as ties around the waist of the wearer. The hair-skin has some hair still attached to it, which is primarily located at the top of the cache-sex and on the ties. The hair is mostly brown, with a few areas of white on the ties; considering there is both brown and white hair and no fur this hair-skin is likely from a goat. Further analysis can be done if animal identification is required. Considering the hard and brittle hand of the hair-skin this material has likely reached its shrinkage temperature. The tautness of the bead strands attached to this material indicates that the hair-skin shrank prior to its decoration (once a skin reaches its shrinkage temperature it can reduce in area by upwards of 60 percent).

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  • Title: cache-sexe (loin cloth)
  • Creator: Turkana people
  • Date Created: early to mid 1900s
  • Rights: No Known Rights Holder
  • Medium / Support: goat hide, fish vertebrae, shell, black beads
  • External Link: See this object at www.imamuseum.org
  • Dimensions: 23 x 7 1/4 in.
  • Department: Textile and Fashion Arts
  • Credit Line: Jane Weldon Myers Acquisition Fund
  • Accession Number: 2011.205