Monochromatic skirt with appliqué

Kuba peoples
early 20th century
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General Description

Exceptionally wide woven raffia panels like this one are decorated with appliquéd geometric shapes and wrapped multiple times around the body and worn as skirts. Although patches were originally used to cover holes resulting from pounding raffia cloth until it was supple, appliqué fabric became an art in its own right. Men weave raffia into cloth and women appliqué and embroider it.

High-status women danced wearing appliqué skirts at the itul, a festival enhancing the prestige of royalty or officials.

Excerpt from

Roslyn A. Walker, Label text, Add to, Take Away: Artistry and Innovation in African Textiles, 2014.

Web Resources