Etoffe Pongo - African art



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Etoffe Pongo from Ituri (N° 16363)

Ex-collection Swiss African art.
Produced by pygmies from the Ituri forest in the Democratic Republic of Congo, these fabrics woven from ficus bark fibres were painted by women. Men cut wood and hammered bark, and women generally used a gardenia decoction mixed with charcoal ash to draw patterns similar to tattoos worn by tribal members. On this copy, grids of different formats were drawn on the clear background, a traitconnector each of them, sometimes forming a loop at its end. The rhythm and space created between the various signs would also have a link with the polyphonic songs through which the pygmies of Ituri address God. The Mangbetu, in contact with the Asua pygmies, produced a similar type of cloth (named tapa in Oceania) decorated with more complex symbols called murumba or nogetwe . This type of fabric, if not worn in loincloth, could be stretched on the interior walls of the boxes.
Ref.: "Art unparalleled" J. Volper; "Africa, the Art of a Continent" ed. Mr. Prestel.  

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Originex-collection suisse
EthnyPygmée
CountryCongo
Material(s)fibres de ficus
Height70
Width62
Weight0.08 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°

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