When Did the Jibba Become Universal Clothing

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When Did the Jibba Become Universal Clothing

Postby Atheling » 04 Feb 2015 13:04

Hi,

Apologies in advance for the slightly vague question.

I'm trying to pinpoint the period of time where the Jibba became universal clothing for the followers of the Teachings of Mahdi, Muhammad Ahmad bin Abd Allah?

I'm basically a wargamer and not a collector of militaria so it would be useful for me to know when I can introduce the clothing and into which campaigns in the Sudan? It appears to have been quite universal at Omdurman but is this down to a change in the Victorian ideal image of the Ansar or does it have a basis in fact?

Also, I'd like to hear of any eviidence or sources that point me in that direction.

Thanks in advance,
Darrell.
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Re: When Did the Jibba Become Universal Clothing

Postby mike snook » 04 Feb 2015 17:58

Darrell

It's all covered in 'Go Strong into the Desert,' wot I wrote for the Twins. It's quite convoluted, but the square patched jibbeh started with amirs in the 1881-5 set to and subsequently got manufactured for everybody else in Omdurman. So they are not a uniform item until the post Khartoum period. Prior to that patching was done as practical thing by the extremely poor - so not square, or oblong and no symmetry and most frequently I imagine not at all. The Mahdi declared patched clothes to be godly - so all the amirs did it to please him, but they were the well to do and turned it into an art form (which later became universal as a uniform). Hence by the Reconquest everybody's doing it.

If you are doing eastern Sudan in the 83-5 ease off on patching altogether for the rank and file.

Any more than that and you know what to do....buy the book! It has lots of nice plates done by Michael Perry.

As ever

Mike

PS. I saw on your blog the other day that you bought Like Wolves on the Fold. All I can say is well done! I hope you bought it new, (royalty, yipee!) not from some cheapskate who palmed it off second hand (no royalty, boooo!!). No need to answer that one!
Dr Mike Snook MBE psc
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Re: When Did the Jibba Become Universal Clothing

Postby Atheling » 04 Feb 2015 20:04

mike snook wrote:Darrell

It's all covered in 'Go Strong into the Desert,' wot I wrote for the Twins. It's quite convoluted, but the square patched jibbeh started with amirs in the 1881-5 set to and subsequently got manufactured for everybody else in Omdurman. So they are not a uniform item until the post Khartoum period. Prior to that patching was done as practical thing by the extremely poor - so not square, or oblong and no symmetry and most frequently I imagine not at all. The Mahdi declared patched clothes to be godly - so all the amirs did it to please him, but they were the well to do and turned it into an art form (which later became universal as a uniform). Hence by the Reconquest everybody's doing it.


If you are doing eastern Sudan in the 83-5 ease off on patching altogether for the rank and file.

Any more than that and you know what to do....buy the book! It has lots of nice plates done by Michael Perry.


Ah, I've got the book and read all of it too! Now you come to mention it there's a section in the Appendixon the clothing of the Ansar!! I remember now.... :oops: .

PS. I saw on your blog the other day that you bought Like Wolves on the Fold. All I can say is well done! I hope you bought it new, (royalty, yipee!) not from some cheapskate who palmed it off second hand (no royalty, boooo!!). No need to answer that one!


Yep, I bought it new. From a trader but brand spanking new :) .

More blogging to come re: Sudan. Royal Artillery baggage about to get a lick of paint and Burnaby too. Along with Gen. Roberts but that's another story.

Thanks again,
Darrell.
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Re: When Did the Jibba Become Universal Clothing

Postby Mark A. Reid » 05 Feb 2015 00:02

Hello Darrell:

A most interesting query! I seem to recall that there was an extensive article in the old magazine MILITARY ILLUSTRATED about the development and varieties of the jibba/jibbah. I'm away from my books at the moment but can check this weekend and let you know.

As you would imagine, the production of these garments, when they eventually became the de facto uniform of the Ansar, necessitated a massive industry. I have examined a number of surviving examples and found that some have even been stitched by machine. Not surprising, I suppose, as Mr. Singer had exported his amazing devices all around the world by the 1890's. I have an example hanging on my wall and a friend of mine, a forensic detective with the local constabulary, identified a few brownish stains as, well ... what you would imagine.

Cheers,

Mark
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Re: When Did the Jibba Become Universal Clothing

Postby Atheling » 05 Feb 2015 07:26

Mark A. Reid wrote:Hello Darrell:

A most interesting query! I seem to recall that there was an extensive article in the old magazine MILITARY ILLUSTRATED about the development and varieties of the jibba/jibbah. I'm away from my books at the moment but can check this weekend and let you know.


That would be very kind of you Mark, most appreciated 8) .

This is one magazine that I really wished that I had collected!! I really only got into wargaming (14 years ago and a good stint when I was younger!), quite by accident! I was very ill and needed something to occupy my mind so started collecting and painting mini's. To my surprise I discovered I had a real talent for painting and not being able to work full time I turned my hand to just that as a profession! I did very well out of it too which came as a bigger surprise!!! :shock:

Mark A. Reid wrote:As you would imagine, the production of these garments, when they eventually became the de facto uniform of the Ansar, necessitated a massive industry. I have examined a number of surviving examples and found that some have even been stitched by machine. Not surprising, I suppose, as Mr. Singer had exported his amazing devices all around the world by the 1890's. I have an example hanging on my wall and a friend of mine, a forensic detective with the local constabulary, identified a few brownish stains as, well ... what you would imagine.


You know, I did not really think of that! I thought that the cotton would have been imported from somewhwere like Egypt and then manufactured at home! It's amazing what one can assume sometimes! I hope I don't come across as some kind of intellectual, misogynist imperialist!!?? :oops: :oops: Of course these tiems would have been manufactured with the latest technology available later on in the Sudan. And you may well be correct about Mr Singer!! :lol:

Thanks for your input (and that of Mike of course!) and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Darrell.
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Re: When Did the Jibba Become Universal Clothing

Postby Mark A. Reid » 09 Feb 2015 00:42

Hello again:

Back from vacation now and able to write that an article entitled The Mahdist Patched Jibbeh appeared in No. 18, April/May 1989 edition of MILITARY ILLUASTRATED.

Check your Inbox for a private message regarding the article.

By the way, I envy you your figure painting skills. I know a couple of award-winning modellers whose miniatures look almost lifelike and when I show them some of my handiwork they usually stifle a chortle, pat me on the head and ask what kind of rollers I use.

Cheers,

Mark
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Re: When Did the Jibba Become Universal Clothing

Postby Atheling » 10 Feb 2015 14:49

Mark A. Reid wrote:Hello again:

Back from vacation now and able to write that an article entitled The Mahdist Patched Jibbeh appeared in No. 18, April/May 1989 edition of MILITARY ILLUASTRATED.

Check your Inbox for a private message regarding the article.


Thanks- very much appreciated :) .

By the way, I envy you your figure painting skills. I know a couple of award-winning modellers whose miniatures look almost lifelike and when I show them some of my handiwork they usually stifle a chortle, pat me on the head and ask what kind of rollers I use.


Well, I for one wouldn't be chortling! Everyone starts somewhere and it's really about the passion that goes into what you're doing not the end result.

I'm off to my Inbox now :) .

Darrell.
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