Skip to Main Content »

You're currently on:

Search Site
Click on image above to zoom.

Kuba Beaded Bracelet Cowrie Shells Congo Africa

Product #: 121538
US Shipping: $5.98
Add Items to Cart

Title Kuba Beaded Bracelet Cowrie Shells Congo Africa
Type of Object bracelets and armlets
Country of Origin Democratic Republic of Congo
People Kuba
Materials Cowrie shells, raffia textile
Approximate Age 20th century
Dimensions 7.75 inches L. x 2 inches W.
Overall Condition Good. Most of our pieces have spent decades on at least two continents, and have been treasured by several owners.   Small splits, scrapes and cracks are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use.  We examine each piece carefully when we receive it and report any damage we find in our listings.  Please look carefully at the pictures which may also reveal condition and damage.
Damage/Repair Embedded dirt.

Additional Information: These arm bands, made of handwoven raffia decorated with cowrie shells embroidered and sewn onto them, were used to decorate the bodies of nobles and kings in the Kuba Kingdom in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  The prominent display of cowries in the royal costume emphasizes the ruler as by far the wealthiest person in the kingdom, so wealthy that he purportedly ate pulverized cowries as part of his diet.  A king's raiment weighed as much as 185 pounds! The 130 titled individuals at court also had their own costume forms.

Recommended Reading: Cornet's ART ROYAL KUBA, Mack's EMIL TORDAY AND THE ART OF THE CONGO 1900-1909.