Photographs © Matt Mrachek
MBUTI PYGMY, BARKCLOTH 139, 27.5x22", $150, Dem. Republic of Congo
Made by the Mbuti pygmy of the Ituri Forest, this textile is made by beating a layer of tree bark until it is thin and pliable. The women choose the tree and the preparation and beating are done by men .The women then paint the designs, which are often symbolic, using a mixture of charcoal and fruit juice.
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, but this may make it difficult for the cloth to lay flat.
NOTE: This is a very rough, heavy, unpainted barkcloth, not worked nearly as much as the others, but much more obviously cut off of a tree. It is in stable condition; we have had it for ten years.
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