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Kasai Shoowa Velvet (N° 17355)

Belgian African tribal art collection.
African art and the refinement of Kuba weaving.
Products to Zaire by the Shoowa, Bashoowa, a subgroup Kuba , these fabrics forming real paintings of first art, consist of a textile base in raffia on which threads are cut to the brim, forming a velvet effect accentuated by the contrasts of tone. The geometric patterns formed represent the body scarifications of the ethnic group or the decorations of the sculptures. These refined fabrics were intended to be used at the royal court, as a seat or cover, to enhance its prestige. In many cases they took the value of money, or they also followed their owners into the grave by covering the body of the deceased. It was King Shamba Bolongongo who introduced the velvet weaving technique to Kuba country in the 17th century. He had previously introduced the Kuba to the art of forging. It was the men who softened the fibers of young palms and bark to make long threads, which was a delicate and laborious exercise that took several months. The embroidery was then the prerogative of women, originally pregnant women. The men's loincloths, mapel, and women, ntshak , were adapted by their decorative motifs to the social status of their owner.
Different ochre tones are next to black and beige. Perfect condition.  

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OriginCollection belge
EthnyKuba
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)fibres de raphia
Height50
Width48
Weight0.10 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°

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