Photographs © Hamill Gallery
SKIRT PANEL 225
33" high x 24" wide
This raffia skirt panel is in fair condition.
These embroidered panels are older than our appliqued panels. The red ones, with finer strips of raffia, are soft like cotton or linen from repeated washing and handling. The color, however, is not stable. Most of these have lost some of the deep dark red they had originally. Exposure to light will fade them gradually more until they are almost gray. I have lightened and desaturated the photographs to be as accurate as I can be to their present state.. Cloths can be returned for full credit if you don't like them, but note that the color is often uneven and somewhat faded and occasionally dirty. Remember that museums expose their textiles only rarely and under subdued light. They have not been blocked or stretched.
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.
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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