The Textile Museum Journal: Reconstructing the Historical "Akhnif" of Southern Morocco

Hooded cloak on a dress form
Cloak (akhnif); Morocco, High Atlas Mountains, Ouaouzguite; 20th century. The Textile Museum Collection 1961.21.1. Museum purchase.


As a part of our online interview series for The Textile Museum Journal, contributing scholar Myriem Naji discusses her study of the “akhnif,” a woven-to-shape semi-circular garment worn in southern Morocco until the 1950s.

Dr. Naji combines the insights gained from the ethnographic fieldwork among the Ayt Waghrda mountain dwellers of the Sirwa, the commissioning of an akhnif and the study of historical objects in European and Moroccan museums. In this interview, she will examine how this garment is closely related to others in North Africa and how her research contributes to the understanding of the wider history of the Mediterranean traditions of weaving cloths to shape.

About The Textile Museum Journal

Our peer-reviewed journal is the leading publication for the exchange of textile scholarship in North America. Published each fall, it features research on the cultural, technical, historical and aesthetic significance of textiles from all around the world. Learn more about the journal

About Myriem Naji

Dr. Naji is an honorary research fellow at the Department of Anthropology, University College London, where she earned a doctorate in 2008. In 2011, she curated the exhibition Weaving the Threads of Livelihood: The Aesthetic and Embodied Knowledge of Sirwa Weavers at the Brunei Gallery, SOAS University of London.

How to Participate

This program will take place on Zoom. To participate, please register online, and we will email you a link and instructions for joining. Simply follow that link at the time the program starts (12 p.m. EST / 9 a.m. PST). When you register, you can also request to receive a reminder email one day before the program with the link included. 

About the Series

In this virtual series, authors who contributed to volume 48 of The Textile Museum Journal discuss new research on African textiles with guest editor Sarah Fee. Browse all interviews