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Kuba Royal Beaded Belt Congo African 50 Inch

Product #: 114932
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Title Kuba Royal Beaded Belt Congo African 50 Inch
Type of Object Beaded Belt
Country of Origin Democratic Republic of Congo
People Kuba
Materials cotton, beads, Cowrie shells
Approximate Age 20th century
Dimensions Length: 50 inches x 2 inches W.
Overall Condition Good
Damage/Repair loose and missing beads, cuts at edges

Additional Information: This belt, made of glass beads embroidered onto hand-woven cotton fabric, was used to hold upon the voluminous raffia skirts worn by nobles in the Kuba Kingdom in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The prominent display of 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. For more information, see Blier's ROYAL ARTS OF AFRICA. To see examples of Kuba beadwork, see Mack's EMIL TORDAY AND THE ART OF THE CONGO 1900-1909.