Kuba N’Chak Dance Skirt

Stunning Kuba N’chak dance skirt. Typical traditional design from the ex-collection of Seward Kennedy.

Tribe: Kuba

Origin: Kuba Kingdom D.R.Congo

Approx Age: Mid 20th Century

Materials: Raffia

Dimensions cm: 159 (long) x 70 (wide)

Ref. Number: 1091


A striking and old Kuba N’chak dance skirt. This stunning piece of traditional Kuba attire shows plenty of signs of use. The centre section is in a cream natural raffia colour edged with a designed patterns typical and so easily recognised from the Kuba. There are several colours used through out the making of this beautiful Kuba Nchak or Nshaak skirt, black, brown and two different shades of cream.

Provenance: Ex Seward Kennedy Collection.


The Nchak for ordinary day to day wear is usually a white and red garment worn wrapped around the lower body and held at the waist or beneath the breasts by a folded band of cloth or a belt made of twisted multi-strand fibre. Nchak usually consists of two or three raffia panels. In ceremonial dances Nchak worn by women are considerably longer than those in every day wear. However today Nchak are made up of square or rectangular pieces of cloth sewn together lengthwise and assembled in such a way as to show off the unity of the panels or of their lateral movement, which is accented either by the use of alternating panels dyed red or black, or by sewing together panels of different dimensions. Both Kuba male and female garments made of raffia cloth have been worn wrapped around the waist and held up by a belt. They are used in dowries and as currency and are sometimes given in large quantities to the dead during funeral ceremonies. The best examples are quite costly and seldom if ever, used for what we might term as everyday wear.

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