African art > Textiles, Kuba velvet, Ncak nsueha Bushoong > Textile Pongo
Etoffe Pongo of the Pygmies of Ituri (N° 18733)
Ex-collection Belgian African tribal art.
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Produced by the pygmies of the Ituri forest in the Democratic Republic of Congo, these woven fabrics made of ficus bark fibers were painted by women. The men cut wood and hammered the bark, and the women usually used a decoction of gardenia mixed with charcoal ash to draw with their fingers or plant stems patterns similar to the tattoos worn by tribal members.
On this example the lined patterns form a network of gray-black squares animated with some star-like graphics.
The rhythm and the space created between the different signs would also have a link with the polyphonic songs with which the pygmies of Ituri address God. Soft touch texture. murumba or nogetwe .
This type of fabric, if not worn as a loincloth, could be stretched over the inner walls of the huts.
Ref : "Art sans pareil" J. Volper ; "Africa, the Art of a Continent" ed. Prestel.