Museum to Host Talk on Textiles in Zaire

Wake Forest University’s Museum of Anthropology will present “The Leopard’s Spots: Textiles and Leadership Arts Among the Kuba” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27.

Patricia Darish, assistant professor of art history and African and African-American Studies at the University of Kansas, will discuss the royal arts of the Kuba peoples, a confederacy of 17 ethnic groups in south-central Zaire. The Kuba are the most numerous and politically powerful groups in Zaire. They are renowned for the innovative designs and geometric decoration they use in various media particularly textiles and other forms of personal adornment.

Admission is free.

“For the Kuba, many forms of decorative textiles are a sign of wealth and prestige used for ritual and mortuary contexts,” according to Mary Jane Berman, director of the museum.

Darish has conducted extensive research in Zaire, focusing on the work of weavers and embroiderers in ceremonial contexts. Her publications include “Dressing for the Next Life: Raffia Textile Fabication and Display Among the Kuba,” a chapter in the book, “Cloth and Human Experience.”

The event is sponsored by the museum, Wake Forest’s women’s studies program and a grant from The Winston-Salem Foundation. The event, part of Wake Forest’s Year of the Arts, is one of several programs the museum has organized to celebrate the arts and cultural achievements of non-Western cultures.

The museum is located behind the tennis courts, adjacent to the track stadium. For more information, call 759-5282.

Categories: Arts & Culture, Events