Kuba skirts, Tcaka, long are cloths made from raffia, from 8 - 25 feet long, from the Ngeende, Bushoong and Ngongo peoples. They incorporate appliqued "patches", embroidered shapes and patterns, openwork, tie-dye, cowrie shells, barkcloth and border elements. The appliqued "patches" originally repaired holes, then developed into traditional design motifs. .All are covered with geometric symbols; many are restrained, subtle and rhythmic designs using one technique; others create amazing quilt-like assemblages of old pieces of many forms. The full skirts are worn bunched up and wrapped around many times. The exhibit also includes smaller, ornate pieces and individual panels from the large skirts.They were sewn together for ceremonial dress and covered royal stools. As a sign of status and to provide for the afterlife they were buried with kings or those fortunate enough to own many.
The long cloths were wrapped around many times and worn as a skirt or dress. These are single panels of such a dress wrap.
CARE: The cloth is not fragile and can be pinned onto a wall or panel for display, or framed like a work on paper. To eliminate wrinkles, the cloth can be misted with water, and then gently ironed on the back.