Kuba men cultivate and collect raffia from palm trees and weave it into textile panels that women decorate with embroidery and appliques. Panels are sewn together to create long skirts that are wrapped around the waist repeatedly, creating a voluminous appearance. Fabrics figure prominently in the prestige and status costumes of the Kuba elite. The finished cloths are worn during ceremonial and funerary events. After death, cloths displayed on the corpse during mourning are buried with the body. This women’s wrap skirt is decorated with a multitude of abstract shapes. Most Kuba surface design is based on repeated geometric motifs, but the patterns are intentionally irregular.
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