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Presentation Baskets (Igiseke), presented by the Governor of Rwanda-Burundi, Tutsi people, Burundi, 20th century. Plant fibers; coiling. Private collection.

Weaving Abstraction:
Kuba Textiles and the Woven Art of Central Africa

October 15, 2011 through February 12, 2012

The textiles of the Kuba kingdom are among the most distinctive and spectacular works of African art. Emerging in the early 17th century, the Kuba kingdom grew into a powerful and wealthy confederation of 18 different ethnic groups located in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo. While they have fascinated artists, collectors and designers for over a century, this will be the first major museum exhibition in the U.S. to showcase the artistic inventiveness and graphic power of Kuba ceremonial dance skirts within a wide-ranging survey of Kuba design. More than 140 exceptional 19th- and early 20th-century objects will be on view, including ceremonial skirts, ‘velvet’ tribute cloths, headdresses and basketry from the permanent collection of The Textile Museum, the National Museum of African Art, and several private collections.

The 2011 Textile Museum Fall Symposium was held in conjunction with this exhibition.

Noblewoman’s Skirt, Kuba people, early 20th century, D.R. Congo. Raffia palm fiber; appliqué, embroidery. Collection of Matthew Polk and Amy Gould.


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