African art > Textiles, Kuba velvet, Ncak nsueha Bushoong > Kuba Textile
Shoowa woven panel from Kasai (N° 21419)
The African art and the refinement of Kuba weaving.
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Produced in Zaire by the Shoowa, Bashoowa, subgroup Kuba, these fabrics forming true paintings of primitive art, consist of a raffia textile base on which 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 technique of velvet weaving 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. Male loincloths, mapel , and female ones, ntshak , were adapted by their decorative motifs to the social rank of their owner.
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|Country||rdc ex zaire|
|Material(s)||fibres de raphia|
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