Woman’s ceremonial skirt. D. R. Congo, Kuba people, 20th century. Raffia; appliqué, embroidery, resist-dye. Collection of Matthew Polk and Amy Gould. Photo Don Tuttle
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Vanessa Drake Moraga is an independent scholar specializing in the textile arts of Africa and South America. She curated and wrote the catalogue for the Textile Museum’s recent exhibition Weaving Abstraction: Kuba Textiles and the Woven Art of Central Africa. Her lecture will explore the breadth of the Kuba aesthetic through its contrapuntal styles of geometric abstraction as expressed in several distinctive techniques (including appliqué and cut-pile embroidery). Kuba textiles are featured during court ceremonies, masked performances, and dances associated with funerary and initiation rites. The lecture will be illustrated with superb images from the recent Textile Museum exhibition and the author’s own collection.
Ms. Moraga previously curated several museum exhibitions on Mbuti painted barkcloths. In addition, she is the author of Animal Myth and Magic: Images from Pre-Columbian Textiles (2005) and numerous articles and catalogues on ancient and ethnographic textile arts. She is a contributing editor to HALI magazine.