Meurant, Georges
Shoowa Design: African Textiles from the Kingdom of Kuba



Shoowa Design: African Textiles from the Kingdom of Kuba

The Shoowa people, a small tribe from the kingdom of Kuba, in what is now Zaire, have been designing and making beautiful textiles for hundreds of years. These intricate designs, in bold earthy colours, have had a variety of uses—as a type of currency, as dowries, status symbols, shrouds, and even as religious vestments when Catholic missionaries first came to Kuba in the sixteenth century. The Shoowa tribe has not been closely examined by ethnographers and its embroidery is known only to a few collectors. The surviving examples have become highly prized by museums and private collectors all over the world.

Belgian artist and designer Georges Meurant has produced an impressive study of these textiles and their history.

With a wealth of seven thousand different designs to choose from, he has selected one hundred and two of the highest quality, from the most important private collections. These are illustrated in full colour and analysed in detail; and drawings done by Meurant himself show the development from basic geometric motifs to highly complicated patterns.

The author also traces the history of the Shoowa people and the various influences on the designs, which were rooted in the Paleolithic and developed from the beginnings of basket weaving. Collectors and designers as well as the interested layman will admire the beauty and complexity of these magnificent works of art.

Shoowa Design: African Textiles from the Kingdom of Kuba, Georges Meurant, Thames & Hudson, 1986

Hardcover. Okra cloth binding. Small tear to dust jacket t the top. Previous owners name inscribed on first page. A tight copy. Very good condition.