Shoowa Embroidered Raffia Overskirt
Kuba Tribe, D.R. Congo
Cut-pile embroidered raffia

H: 53"
Inventory # 10552

The Shoowa, a northern group of the Kuba, decorated their skirts with geometric designed panels such as this, but also used them as shrouds, currency, and symbols of wealth and status. Nothing was drawn on the blank raffia panel (known as mbol) before the stitching commenced. All of the patterns came from the imagination of the embroidress, and could change as they spread across the panel – the design grew and changed, almost organically, as the textile was created.