African Tribal Handmade Kuba Cloth Textile Runner

(20th Century)

African Tribal Handmade Kuba Cloth Textile Runner
164 Windy Row
Peterborough, NH, 03458
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African Tribal Handmade Kuba Cloth Textile Runner


Kuba cloth hand woven in the Democratic Republic of the Congo of raffia palm leaf strands that are then woven into fabric. Geometric symbols are then appliquéd onto the surface, each symbol having a meaning. One of a few decorative fabrics that is entirely sewn from the front rather than the backside. Once used as currency, as part of a dowry payment and in special ceremonies, these pieces were often a sign of wealth. The more complex and intricate the pattern of symbols and color the more valuable the cloth. A one of kind piece of artwork since each piece is unique to the artist. Can be framed, used as a wall hanging, at the foot of a bed or for pillows.

WIDTH: 20 in | HEIGHT: 136 in

Category Textiles
Period 20th Century
Style Unspecified

Shipping Estimate: $35 | FedEx

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THB REF: 3804423717


"“Kuba cloth is a creation of the Bakuba peoples of Africa. It is one of the few fabrics, which is still completely made by hand, and of natural materials. It is woven from raffia strands, which are collected and prepared, usually by men or boys. It is also the males who weave the fibers into a basic fabric called "mbal." Since the raffia fibers are not connected to lengthen them, the base cloth is never very large or long, though individual pieces, once woven, may be connected. Before the decorating, women dampen and beat the cloth repeatedly until it reaches the correct firmness or softness. If the mbal needs to be dyed, it is. Dyes come from Tukula wood, clay, iron dross, indigo, and other plants. Then women begin the patterns. The longer pieces are termed skirts.”"