Tribal art, unique curiosities and works of art.


Bark cloth is made by the pygmy Mbuti people of the Ituri Forest in the Congo. They have lived in this region for approximately 4,000 years and their barkcloth is an important part of their culture. It can be used for clothing such as loincloths. Larger pieces were made by women to be worn when giving birth. To the Mbuti, trees are sacred so the bark will give them powers and protection. After suitable trees are chosen by women, the men strip an inner layer of the softer bark and create the cloth by beating it until it is pliable. The painting of the cloth with symbols and stories is usually done by women who make the colours from charcoal, vegetation and fruit juices.

This wonderful piece has some age to it. It is very approximately 59cm x 26cm and is in great vintage condition and is quite robust. Mbuti barkcloth is highly collectable and can be enhanced by framing, though it is strong enough to mount on a wall without protection.

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