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  • Beaded Doll (Ham Pilu)
  • Beaded Apron
  • Beaded Apron
  • Beaded Apron
  • Elephant Mask
  • Man's Prestige Hat (ashetu)
  • Face Mask
  • Male Royal Ancestor Mask
  • Kuba Belt
  • Kuba Belt
  • Kuba Belt
  • Sash with Triangular Pendant
  • Hat (Mpaan)
  • Hat
  • Beaded Coronet
  • Beaded Coronet
  • Beaded Coronet
  • Female Twin Figure
  • Royal Slippers
  • Divination Tapper
  • Beaded Crown (adenla)
  • Diviner's Bag
  • Seated Female Figure
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  • Ndebele Doll
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  • Gala Blanket
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  • Man's Wedding Apron
  • Lidded Vessel
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  • Lidded Vessel (Beer Pot)
  • Beaded Panel
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  • Beaded Panel
  • Beaded Panel
  • Beaded Panel
  • Beaded Panel
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  • Beaded Panel
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  • Man's Back Tie
  • Beaded Panel
  • Beaded Panel Pin
  • Doll
  • Woman's Tobacco Bag
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  • Child Figure
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  • Young Matron's Dress
  • Koranic Amulet
  • Beaded Earflap
  • Beaded Earflap
Kuba Belt

Belt

Kuba people
Democratic Republic of Congo
Belt (mukody mu-ikup lakiing)
20th Century
Raffia, glass beads, cowrie shells
Gift of Rod McGalliard
2 ½ x 52 ¾ in. (6.4 x 134 cm)
2003.40.2

Narrow belts with beaded knots are usually worn by women. The laborious process of making the bead-covered knot is a challenge to the beadworker’s skill. It is adorned with rows of cowries, which formerly served as currency, as a sign of both wealth and beauty. The glass beads, imported from Europe, were also favorite embellishments that call attention to the wearer’s wealth and prestige.

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