Kuba Beaded Belt

Kuba beaded belt know also as N’kody Makwoom.
Tribe: Kuba

Origin: Kuba Kingdom DRC

Approx Age: Mid 20th Century

Materials: Hessian/Raffia/Cowrie shells/Glass beads

Dimensions cm: 80 (long)

Ref. Number: 1268

Kuba beaded belt made of a raffia hessian material base which has been heavily covered using a variety of traditional Kuba materials. A wonderful pattern created with cowrie shells cover the main part of the belt whereas the finer embellishment has incorporated the usage of both light blue and white tiny glass beads. A very cleverly interlinked design at the front of the belt has both colours of glass bead worked in the design to which a shell has been attached with a small piece of raffia. Edged completely with blue glass beads giving a real sense of regalness. A thin strip of raffia finished with yet more beads to form the fastening making this belt a wonderful piece of Kuba finery.


The Kuba are well recognised for their regal finery and ceremonial dress. Incorporating the familiar materials both in the making of not only the very beautiful geometric designed shoowa/kassia velvet textiles but also in the heavily embellished items such as n’chak dance skirts, laket/Mpaan and Kalyeem hats/headdresses down to the smaller and just as important adornments such as cowrie shell wristbands and the heavily decorated belts or N’kody Makwoom as they are known to the Kuba. The belt is worn around the waist to aid and assist the many layers of skirt that are wrapped around the waist to remain in place. It is the noblemen and chiefdom figures that have the privilege to be adorned in such great splendour as it is also a reflection of the status and rank within the tribe that such a person holds.  It has been known that a kings outfit/regaler can weigh up to 185lbs. Less embellished belts, however, can be worn not only by men but also women serving the same purpose to hold up the many layers of fabric that make up the skirts worn.

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