Kuba fabric  - African art

View this image full size

Prestigious fabrics among African Kuba art objects.
Produced in Zaire by the Shoowa, Bashoowa, mainly, subgroup Kuba, these fabrics forming true paintings of primitive art, are made of a textile base of raffia. The geometric patterns formed represent the body scarifications of the ethnic group or the decorations of 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 were used as currency, or followed their owners to the grave, covering the body of the deceased. It was King Shamba Bolongongo who introduced the weaving technique to Kuba country in the 17th century. He had previously introduced the Kuba to the art of blacksmithing. It was the men who softened the fibers of young palms and bark into long threads, a delicate and laborious exercise that took several months. The embroideries were then the prerogative of women, originally pregnant women. It was the Bushoong women, a Kuba sub-tribe from which the king nyim was chosen, who decorated the cloth with cowries, embroidered patterns, or beads.
Several panels of this type, sewn together, formed the male mapel, or female, ntshak, ceremonial skirt, the decorative patterns of which were adapted to the social rank of the owner. The latter were mainly worn at funerals. Sources: "Kuba" 5Continents and "Masterpieces of African Art" Larousse; "African Art" Kerchache, Paudrat and Stephan.  


This item is sold with its certificate of authenticity

Estimated shipping cost

OriginEx-collection belge
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)fibres de raphia
Height cm81
Width68 cm
Weight0.35 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°

You could also be interested by these items

You must login to access these options
   Warn me if a similar item is added to the catalog
   Warn me if the price decreases
Manage my alerts

You have question on this item ? contact us

Previously viewed items
African art - Kuba fabric
African art  - 

© 2024 - Digital Consult SPRL

Essentiel Galerie SPRL
73A Rue de Tournai - 7333 Tertre - Belgique
+32 (0)65.529.100
visa Master CardPaypal