{ "objects" : [ { "embark_ID" : 201049, "URL" : "https://triarte.brynmawr.edu/Objects-1/info/201049", "Disp_Access_No" : "2019.6.35.14", "_AccNumSort1" : "", "Disp_Create_DT" : "ca. 1960", "_Disp_Start_Dat" : "1955", "_Disp_End_Date" : "1965", "Disp_Title" : "Ncaka Kot (Woman's Overskirt) with Embroidery", "Alt_Title" : "", "Obj_Title" : "", "Series_Title" : "", "Disp_Maker_1" : "unknown Bushoong", "Sort_Artist" : "unknown Bushoong", "Disp_Dimen" : "39 x 156 in. (99.06 x 396.24 cm)", "Disp_Height" : "39 in.", "Disp_Width" : "156 in.", "Dimen_Extent" : "Object", "Medium" : "Raffia fiber, dye", "Support" : "", "Disp_Medium" : "Raffia fiber, dye", "Info_Page_Comm" : "Description provided by Lucia Quadros, the dealer this was purchased from: Description: Woman’s Overskirt Tribe: Bushong – Kuba Country:DRC Date: Ca - 1960 Material: Raffia, black dyed raffia 33 panels Dimensions: 36”/160” Inches In Kuba culture, men are responsible for raffia palm cultivation and the weaving of raffia cloth. Several types of raffia cloth are produced for different purposes, the most common form of which is a plain woven cloth that is used as the foundation for decorated textile production. Men produce the cloth on inclined, single-heddle looms and then use it to make their clothing and to supply foundation cloth to female members of their clan section. The cloth is coarse when it is first cut from the loom, so it is then pounded in a mortar, which softens it and renders it ready for the application of surface decoration, for which women are responsible. Early 20th Century ethnographer Emil Torday acquired the oldest group of extant textiles from the Kuba tradition from the reigning king, Kot aPe. He called these textiles "Bambala" after the ruling clan. According to Joseph Cornet, these cloths were embroidered by Bushong women who were pregnant with the King's heirs for use in rituals surrounding the birth of the children. They were also used as funerary regalia for noble women. The elaborate geometric designs and technical cohesiveness of the textiles indicate that they were created by highly skilled elders. According to art historian Vanessa Drake Moraga, the fact that Kuba embroiderers represented textile structures in their compositions, underscores both the value of weaving to the culture and the prestige attached to women in art." 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