Fine Old BaKuba Raffia Ceremonial Over-Skirt
This antique example of a high-ranking ceremonial skirt of the royal Bushoong from Central Democratic Republic of Congo is rarely seen today.
Overskirts of this type could only be worn by the most elite women of the royal court. The black plush border is highlighted by triangles of dark colored raffia plainweave, which has been edged in natural tan raffia fiber. A narrow strip of tiny raffia pompoms in alternating groupings of madder and black trims the outer edges of the plush border and further adds to the regal status. The rich chocolate-colored central panel is exuberantly embroidered with raised lattice patterning, highlighted with diagonal lines of tan raffia edged eyelets and open work. This sumptuous piece is an important example of BaKuba/ Bushoong material culture that is rarely available for acquisition in the West.
This museum worthy textile measures 23"x 59" and is in very good condition. There are a few native repairs and small holes due to age and wear.