African art > African Textile > Textile Pongo
Etoffe Pongo of The Pygmies of Ituri (N° 18663)
Produced by pygmies in the Ituri Forest in the Democratic Republic of Congo, these fabrics woven from ficus bark fibers 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 tribe members using fingers or plant stems.
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Sur this copy, parallel lines of light khaki color, of different formats, were drawn on the clear background, lines connecting each of them and sometimes ending with a loop, the whole forming a decorative grid. The rhythm and space created between the different signs would also have a connection with the polyphonic songs through which the pygmies of Ituri address God. Thick texture with a soft touch.
The Mangbetu, in contact with the Asua pygmies, produced a similar type of cloth (called 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 inner walls of the boxes.
Ref.: Unrivalled art J. Volper Africa, the Art of a Continent Ed. Mr. Prestel.
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|Country||rdc ex zaire|
|Material(s)||fibres de ficus|
|Estimated dating||mid xxe|
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