Kuba Textile

Stunning Kuba Textile showing all the lovely geometric shapes and patterns, such truly fascinating works of Kuba art.
Tribe: Kuba

Origin: DRC

Approx Age: Late 20th Century

Materials: Raffia

Dimensions cm: 70 x 62

Ref. Number: 0877


Stunning Kuba Textile showing all the lovely geometric shapes and patterns we have become accustom 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 cam wood tree. They then rub the raffia fibres in their hands to soften it and make it easier for weaving.


Raffia, which comes from the raffia palm is a notoriously difficult medium and it has to be softened before it can be sewn into a large cloth. Soaking and pounding are the most common way to achieve this.  It is the men and young boys who collect the palm leaves then strip and split them by hand or with combs while the women will split and smooth the fibers with snail shells. Once the fibers have been made more pliant they would be wound into skeins. It is the length of the skeins that will determine the size of the cloth produced as strands are not tied. This process completed it is job of the men, who are responsible for the weaving. The women must do the dying of the cloth in preparation for the embroidery. Most common colours include ecru,black,brown and red. Dyes are created from local plant sorces.

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