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Lot of 2 African Kuba Cloths - Polychrome Geometric

Central Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kuba, ca. mid 20th century CE. A complementary pair of Kuba cloths presenting bold geometric patterns in warm earth tones: chocolate brown and warm tan on a creamy beige ground. Traditionally, kuba cloth is woven from raffia-tree leaves; this example is comprised of naturally colored fabric created via a laborious process of hand-dyeing using mud, indigo, or the powdered bark of the camwood tree. Such cloths are usually created by Kuba men on a single heddle loom. Next they are embroidered by women and children to create an uncut or cut-pile appearance (the latter resembling a velvet or velour texture). Kuba cloths are worn during ceremonial events, especially funerals; however, they are also found in tapestries and home furnishings. The abstract geometric patterns are actually symbolic of an individual’s social and marital status, age, and/or personal attributes or character. Size: larger measures 19" L x 20.25" W (48.3 cm x 51.4 cm)

Condition: Excellent. Initials "SB" on verso of smaller cloth.

Provenance: private Allen Davis collection, Santa Fe, New Mexico

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