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Ibtihaj Muhammad's Fencing Mask

Encouraging acceptance through sport

For generations, U.S. Olympic athletes have proudly worn the American flag—a symbol of independence, patriotism, and revolution. At the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, American saber fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad embodied all three qualities. Wearing this mask over her hijab, the traditional head covering of Muslim women, she became the first Muslim American athlete to compete in a headscarf and the first Muslim American woman to earn an Olympic medal.

Fencing mask worn by Ibtihaj Muhammad during the 2016 Rio Olympic Games

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date made
Muhammad, Ibtihaj
Description (Brief)
Fencing mask worn by Ibtihaj Muhammad during the 2016 Rio Olympic Games has a metal mesh face piece painted with an image of the American flag and lined in red. Muhammad is an American saber fencer and is the first Muslim- American woman to wear a hajib while competing for the United States in Olympic competition. USA Fencing won the bronze medal in the team competition earning Muhammad the distinction of becoming the first female Muslim-American athlete to earn a medal at the Olympics.
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Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Credit Line
Gift of Ibtihaj Muhammad
Data Source
National Museum of American History
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Object Name
fencing mask
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
fabric, cotton (overall material)
fabric, metal (overall material)
fabric, polyester (overall material)
overall: 15 in x 9 in x 9 1/2 in; 38.1 cm x 22.86 cm x 24.13 cm
Record ID
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