Yet Belt, leather, shells, beads, twine, Zaire, Kuba Tribe

Royal belt, mid 20th century

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Every Kuba man or woman had the right to wear specific costume elements reflecting their status and enabling others to identify their title and prestige. But only the king, his immediate family, and a few very high-level titleholders could wear a belt holding multiple small pendants covered with beads and cowries. This belt has 23 of them, including a ram’s head, double bells, and harps. The large shells are from the Atlantic and Indian Ocean coasts, a testament to the king’s control over long-distance trade.

Details
Title
Royal belt
Role
Artist
Accession Number
89.1
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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Yet Belt, leather, shells, beads, twine, Zaire, Kuba Tribe