Raffia and dye
Overall: 73.7 x 102.9 cm (29 x 40 1/2 in.)
Alma Kroeger Fund 2013.5
Although for a woman, this skirt was woven by men.
This female skirt or hip wrapper is the most extravagant textile of the Mbuun people of the Kwilu-Kwango River Basin. Its overall tan surface is from raffia fiber. It also features elegant geometric surface decoration called lobubasa: the diamond-shaped patterns embroidered on the upper and lower part of the textile with dyed fiber and through the center where the panels that form the textile converge. As a prestige cloth it most likely was only worn on special occasions such as burials or for ceremonial functions. Although it is a women's cloth, it is woven by men, a norm shared by neighboring cultures such as the Kuba and the Kongo, which have similarly rich textile traditions.
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