Mbuti-Pygmy BARKCLOTH – Ituri Rainforest, DR CongoMbuti-Pygmy BARKCLOTH – Ituri Rainforest, DR Congo

Hand-beaten tree-bark, painted with organic pigments. Approx. cm. 75 x 47 (29.52 x 18.50 Inches).

This barkcloth was originally used as loincloth for ceremonies and dances.

Mbuti people, one of the oldest indigenous people of the Congo region of Africa, are one of several indigenouspygmy groups. They are hunter-gatherers that live in the Ituri rainforest. The Mbuti are composed of bands which are relatively small in size, ranging from 15 to 60 people.  Mbuti societies have no ruling group or lineage, no overlying political organization, and little social structure. The Bambuti are an egalitarian society in which the band is the highest form of social organization.

For more information and similar examples, “Mbuti design: paintings by Pygmy women of the Ituri forest”,  by Georges Meurant, Robert Farris Thompson – 1996, provides a close analysis of the drawings, examining them both thematically and aesthetically.

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