KUBA NGEENDE SKIRT PANEL 215

Photographs © Hamill Gallery

KUBA
SKIRT PANELS 215
47" high x 30" wide
NFS

These two raffia skirt panels are in worn condition, showing how damge is repaired. The worst flaw is two small holes in the middle (see detail). There is also a tear in the bottom right corner, three small repair patches on the bottom edge and some small appliqued patches on what could have been small holes. The two panels could be seperated if desired but the seam would not be straight (see first detail again).

Kuba skirts, Tcaka, long cloths from 8 - 25 feet long, from the Ngeende, Bushoong and Ngongo peoples incorporate appliqued "patches", embroidered shapes and patterns, openwork, tie-dye, cowrie shells, barkcloth and border elements. 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. To reach the desired width skirts were often made with two or more panels across the width (here the height). These can sometimes be separated unless appliqued pieces overlap the joined pieces. This is a two-panel section 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.

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