Male Titleholder’s Ceremonial Skirt (mapel)

Kuba peoples

Not on view

Cloths produced by Kuba artists are among a series of related central African textile traditions in which works are produced on a bark or raffia fiber structure. The production of central African textiles draws upon both male and female creativity: men act as weavers of cloths which women embroider and paint. Artists elaborate their patterns from memory. While abstract, patterns and design motifs may be given an evocative name whose meaning is significant to the wearer. Among the Kuba and related peoples, textiles are multifaceted objects of use and meaning. They are worn or displayed on ceremonial occasions as emblems of prestige, wealth and status. In the past, they were sometimes used as a form of currency. This series includes textiles that combine bold and imaginative approaches to design and refined mastery of technique.

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