Vintage Kuba Cloth Woven African Textile -Congo 21" X 144"
Vintage - 20th Century Authentic Kuba Cloth - Handwoven in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kuba Cloth, which once was used as currency, is often given as Lobola (part of the dowry payment to the family of the bride), in special ceremonies, and as symbols of wealth. While in Africa, I was told this type of Kuba is made for the King to walk on when he comes to the village. This is done as a form of admiration and respect.
This Kuba Cloth is very unique as it is rare to find the color purple on Kuba. As this cloth is very long, one side at a time is shown in the photos above.
Kuba Cloth is traditionally woven by the men using raffia from the palm tree. The applique is not only for beauty, but to strengthen the fabric after it has been pounded for softness. Another unique part of the Kuba Cloth is that it is stitched on the side that is to be shown or used.
The condition is very good although, there are signs of age such as raveling and small tears, which adds to its beauty. When special textiles and ceremonial creations are passed down in families, they are often kept in excellent condition. Just as in my shop. I have had them for over 20 years, and as they were in my warehouse they are still in the good condition that the Congolese family I purchased them from, gave them to me. Sometimes, it's said that items have to be torn or broken to be old; this is not the case. Just as the quilts I have from my grandmother are in excellent condition, so have the people of the Congo kept these very special objects intact as they are important.
Kuba Cloth from the Congo D.R.C. formerly Zaire, has many uses. The cloth is art in itself is is great on the wall, on furniture, made into ottomans and pillows and they are fabulous either mounted as one piece or with several Kuba's hanging as one of the photos shown here. they are also used as table runners on large tables.
Approximate Dimensions: 21" X 144"