Panel

Date:

Possibly mid–20th century

Artist:

Kuba
Democratic Republic of the Congo

About this artwork

According to oral tradition, the seventeenth-century Kuba king Shyaam introduced plush-textured raffia textiles to his kingdom. Raffia panels have long been considered valuable in Central Africa; plain panels were used as currency as early as the sixteenth century. Increasingly decorative panels, embellished by women with innumberable combinations of geometric patterns, may have developed from this practice. Until the early twentieth century, such panels were exchanged in a variety of contexts—for instance, as royal tribute or part of a marriage contract. Today they continue to be collected by families, used in funeral displays, and buried with important adults.

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Textiles

Artist

Kuba

Title

Panel

Origin

Democratic Republic of Congo

Date

1925–1975

Medium

Raffia, plain weave; embroidered with raffia in stem stitches and running stitches cut to form pile

Dimensions

65.5 × 61.5 cm (25 3/4 × 24 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

Restricted gift of the Textile Society and royalties from Avon Company

Reference Number

1984.1025

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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