| These TACTILE TEXTILES from the Congo are each hand crafted in the traditional way, the men weaving on a small hand loom and the women taking great pride in their embroidering of these squares. A feast for the eyes, a delight to the touch, Kuba ceremonial squares can take three months to complete.
Among the kuba people of D.R. Congo, men traditionally weave raffia panels and women embroider them. The raffia fibers are peeled from the leaves of the raffia palm and are often dyed red, orange, brown, black and yellow. The complex and irregular embroidered patterns are also found in wood carvings and body decoration. A technique known as "cut pile" in which the ends of the raffia embroidery threads are cut very short & close to the surface, produces a soft texture similar to velvet. Larger cloths are made by sewing panels together, and they are used as body wrappers, mats, blankets or sometimes used as currency.