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Object Timeline

1901

  • Work on this object began.

1961

  • We acquired this object.

  • Work on this object ended.

2013

2014

2020

  • You found it!

Status Cloth (Democratic Republic of the Congo), early 20th century

This is a Status cloth. It is dated early 20th century and we acquired it in 1961. Its medium is raffia and its technique is plain weave, embroidered with stem and pile stitches. It is a part of the Textiles department.

The deep significance of abstract geometric patterning in Kuba culture is evidenced by the seemingly infinite stylistic diversity of status cloths, which are collected over a lifetime to be displayed at death. Dimensionality, asymmetry, syncopation and complex interplay of positive and negative space are the building blocks of the pattern repertoire.

This object was donated by Alan L. Wolfe. It is credited Gift of Alan L. Wolfe.

Its dimensions are

H x W: 42.9 x 55.9 cm (16 7/8 in. x 22 in.)

Cite this object as

Status Cloth (Democratic Republic of the Congo), early 20th century; raffia; H x W: 42.9 x 55.9 cm (16 7/8 in. x 22 in.); Gift of Alan L. Wolfe; 1961-115-44

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Making Design.

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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18437591/ |title=Status Cloth (Democratic Republic of the Congo), early 20th century |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=28 September 2020 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>