African Tribal Art - Barkcloth, Mbuti People, D. R. Congo

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Mbuti people, D.R. Congo
Bark, natural pigment
36" (82.7 cm) high by 16" (40.5 cm) wide
20th century
Ex. Andres Moraga

A barkcloth from the Mbuti people in the Ituri forest of northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo
. These were made from the inner bark of trees, pounded and prepared by men, then painted by women with twigs, fingers or twine. They were folded in half over a sash or belt and worn as ritual dress for celebrations and rites of passage.

This piece was collected in the 1980s by a noted ethnologist working on an Ituri forestry project. In the detail photo below, the waffle pattern from the ivory beater that was used can be clearly seen.




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