Kuba Shoowa Textile

Kuba Shoowa textile both unusual and rare due to the incorporation of the colour green.
Tribe: Kuba

Origin: Kuba Kingdom DRC

Approx Age: Mid 20th Century

Materials: Raffia

Dimensions cm: 79 x 48

Ref. Number: 1283

Kuba Shoowa textile very rare and unusual. This textile is more unusual than a lot of the Kuba textiles seen due to the colour green being incorporated into the design. Lovely geometric patterning on the edges surrounds the less colourful centre. Cream, ecru, brown and black dyed raffia are cleverly interwoven/embroidered creating a visual delight of Kuba craftsmanship. Triangles, rectangles, and diamond shapes created with the use of colour and edging giving a wonderful abstract overall pattern.

Provenance: Ex Belguim Collection.


Stunning Kuba Textile showing all the lovely geometric shapes and patterns we have become accustomed to seeing from such truly fascinating works of Kuba art.  Textile making 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 repeating this process hundreds of times that 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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