Collection of antique African Kuban texiles
Antique African Kuban Textiles – An art form unique to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formally called Zaire) Kuba textiles – sometimes referred to broadly as “Kuba cloth” – represent a distinctly tribal development in the world of fine weaving. These beautiful and distinct compositions are valued for their complexity and immediately recognizable decoration, as well as for the powerful impression of genuine tribal authenticity that they convey. Generally, Kuba textiles are woven with palm leaf fibers, and typically feature distinct geometric designs, especially complex, interrupted lines and shapes.
It is Kuba women who are responsible for the weaving of textiles – the manufacture of ceremonial skirts, headdresses, baskets, and any other weaving work has traditionally fallen to them. African Kuba textiles occupy a unique place in the world of antique rugs, and their distinct aesthetic style has long inspired spirited discussions about the merit of eccentric geometric line work in textiles. In the wake of the influence of the mid-century artists who celebrated these aesthetic traits more so than their predecessors, Kuba textiles and similar works are appreciated by Westerners more than ever before. Today, these unique works are valued for their cultural authenticity, and the inherently challenging nature of their exciting, geometric designs.