Peoples & Societies


The Kuba kingdom of the Democratic Republic of the Congo probably began to develop in the 16th century, when people migrated from the north to settle between the Sankuru, Kasai, and Lulua rivers. The kingdom peaked in the mid-19th century as the trade center for ivory, exported textiles, and other art. Although the Kuba kingdom comprises many ethnic groups, each one with its own leader, the king over all of Kuba is a member of the Bushoong group.

200,000 Kuba sustain themselves today as farmers and fishermen. Art objects cerated by the Kuba demonstrate a preference for geometric patterns. Kuba works include vegetal fiber textiles, wooden figures, and masks, often used to affirm prestige and leadership.

Adapted from

Roslyn A. Walker, The Arts of Africa at the Dallas Museum of Art (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2009), 302.

Related Multimedia

Learn about the Kuba peoples.

Web Resources