Perfect Kuba Raffia Textiles (2023)
Kuba Raffia Textiles originated from the Kuba Tribe of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. These art pieces are woven and handmade crafts used in the production of cloths, bags, sleeping mats, hand fans, baskets, altar draperies, throne clothes, and other valuables.
From oral tradition, it was passed down that the original weaving of raffia textiles emanated from Pende, from where they taught it to the Kuba people.
Weaving Kuba textiles is a skill that has been passed down to the ethnic group for over hundreds of years. The product serves as a form of identification and class demarcation between levels of royalties, hierarchical statuses, and extents of wealth accumulation, among other markers.
Kuba textile works and also worn as ceremonial dresses for special occasions and ritual festivals among the Kuba people.
The main material of the woven Kuba fabric is a fiber form gotten from the raffia palm. Wraparound skirts are the commonest style of clothing made from these palms and they are worn with a sash to secure the waistline of the skirt.
An embroidered skirt in red or cream color is usually worn over the Kuba textile during cultural performances. Though the cloth is worn majorly by women, it is a unisex garment.
Normally, the Kuba men weave the raffia textiles while the women take charge of the embroidery and applique work to the textiles.
The clothes are unique for their surface decoration, elaboration of design, and general complexity of the construction of the textile.
The are many different types of raffia cloth produced in Kuba culture which is to serve various purposes. The plain woven cloth is the commonest; onto which patterns and decorations may be added.
Royalties wear Kuba textiles dyed with twool. It is a deep red dye believed to contain magical properties and serve protective purposes. The twool-dyed cloth is also used for the death rituals of a high-profile personality in the group.