Textiles are very important to the Kuba. Nearly all the adult members of the society are involved in cloth production. The raffia used for the cloth is made from fibre taken from raffia palm leaves which must be stripped to narrow fibres. It is then woven on a loom by the Kuba men and subsequently beaten to soften the cloth. Women are responsible for the detailed work including the embroidery, patchwork, edgings and possibly any tie-dyeing. These cloths are worn as over skirts, called ‘ntshack’ if worn by a woman and ‘mapel’ if worn by a man. They are worn around the waist over a longer underskirt and secured by a belt. They are worn for important ceremonies and for dancing. They have a specific meaning when worn at funerals because raffia is a symbol of security and continuity for the Kuba, linking the living to each other as well as to the deceased. They may also be commissioned by a chief for a specific ceremonial occasion.
Please confirm retail prices in store; prices are subject to change without prior notice. Products subject to availability. Weylandts products are handcrafted and actual product weights and look may vary. Shipping costs are not included in the product price displayed and will be calculated separately according to weight and volume of the product. Prices provided on this website are for Australian stores only.