Kuba Shoowa Textile

A beautiful and symmetrical Kuba Shoowa textile from the Kasai region of Kuba Kingdom.
Tribe: Kuba

Origin: D.R. Congo

Approx Age: Mid – Later 20th Century

Materials: Plant Fibre

Dimensions cm: 62 x 47

Ref. Number: 0335


A beautiful and symmetrical hand made Kuba Shoowa textile from the Kasai region of Kuba Kingdom Democratic Republic of Congo. This is signed  “Maxombo” on the rear also with an “M” which can be seen in the photos. A really superb piece and a nice rarer design.


The art of making Kuba cloth is very time consuming and can take several days to form a small piece. The men first gather the leaves of the raffia tree and then dye it using mud, indigo or substances from the camwood tree. They then rub the raffia fibres in their hands to soften it and make it easier for weaving. After they’ve completed the base cloth the women embroider it. They do this by pulling a few threads of the raffia fibres, inserting them into a needle running the needle through the cloth until the fibres show up on the opposite end. They then take a knife and cut off the top of the fibres, leaving only a little bit showing. It is only by repeating this process hundreds of times that created and forms a design. The designs are seldom planned out ahead of time, and most of the embroidery is done by memory.

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