Emory Report

June 22, 1998

 Volume 50, No. 34

Carlos to host Kuba cloth
exhibit, year-end safari

The Carlos Museum will feature "The Social Life of Kuba Cloth," an exhibition of African textiles from June 27 through Feb. 21, 1999. The Kuba, who live in the central region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, are well known for the raffia textiles they produce.

This exhibition of highly patterned Kuba cloths from the museum's sub-Saharan African collection will explore the innovative creative processes and techniques of their production, the efficacy and importance of cloth and the role of these cloths as currency in the trade market.

The textiles in the exhibit were created by the different ethnicities that make up the Kuba culture. Commonly called "Kasai velvets," referring to one of three rivers that act as natural boundaries marking Kuba lands, these textiles are characterized by their soft, velvet-like appearance. In the Kuba culture, men produce the plain weave cloths that support the women's geometrical designs in cut-pile and embroidery techniques.

Featuring a repertoire of some 200 different patterns, the textiles exhibit certain basic patterns such as diamonds, interlaces and triangles. The basic patterns could be called the theme of the individual composition, to which the artist-embroiderer responds with a variation. The complementary labor of male weavers and female embroiderers in the Kuba culture has produced a rich and varied textile art form in which innovation is highly valued. The exhibition will be mounted in the Hinge Galleries on the museum's first floor.

At the end of this year, the museum is planning a trip to Kenya from Dec. 28 through Jan. 8, 1999, for its members and friends. Sidney Kasfir, associate professor of art history and faculty curator of African art, will introduce participants to Kenyan arts and cultures through visits to museums and galleries and workshops.

Travelers will depart Atlanta for a flight to Frankfurt, Germany, and then on to Nairobi for a 12-day trip through East Africa. From Nairobi they will go to Sweetwaters Tented Camp, part of a private reserve known for its impressive elephant and rhino populations.

The next part of the journey explores the Northern Frontier District. At Lake Baringo, an area known for hundreds of species of brilliantly colored birds, travelers will take a game drive to view the many species of aquatic animal and bird life, including crocodiles and herds of hippos. Also included is a visit to Maasai Mara Game Reserve, where on the rolling savanna the "Big Five"-leopard, lion, elephant, buffalo and rhino-are all represented along with many other species. Travelers will see these animals from special safari vehicles.

Predeparture materials and a reading list are part of the package. The cost is $6,295 per person, double occupancy ($750 single supplement) which includes round-trip economy air travel from Atlanta via Lufthansa; nine nights in hotel, lodge or tented camp; all meals with bottled water; a New Year's cocktail reception; and all internal flights and touring services. For more information, call 404-727-2251.

-Joy Bell

Return to June 22, 1998 Contents Page