Photographs © Tim Hamill
KUBA, BARKCLOTH TEXTILE 4, 47x18", $250, Democratic Republic of Congo
These special wraps were worn outside, or on top of, the
long dance dresses for added decoration and prestige. The central area is
barkcloth, made by beating a layer from just under the tree bark until it
is thin and pliable. Numbers 1-11 are painted in typically Kuba geometric
abstract patterns, similar to those on their barkcloth dance costumes. Numbers
12-15 are quilted from small triangular pieces. One end, usually, and the
two sides are embellished with raffia borders, which can be quilted, embroidered,
tufted, tie-dyed or tasseled.
CARE: The cloth is not fragile and can be pinned onto a wall or panel for display, or framed like a work on paper.
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