Selection of 7 Palm Leaf Cache-Sexes with Natural and Dyed Twisted Fibres. Mangbetu People, DRC.

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Selection of 7 Palm Leaf Cache-Sexes with Natural and Dyed Twisted Fibres. Mangbetu People, DRC.
Selection of 7 Palm Leaf Cache-Sexes with Natural and Dyed Twisted Fibres. Mangbetu People, DRC.
Selection of 7 Palm Leaf Cache-Sexes with Natural and Dyed Twisted Fibres. Mangbetu People, DRC.
Selection of 7 Palm Leaf Cache-Sexes with Natural and Dyed Twisted Fibres. Mangbetu People, DRC.
Selection of 7 Palm Leaf Cache-Sexes with Natural and Dyed Twisted Fibres. Mangbetu People, DRC.
Selection of 7 Palm Leaf Cache-Sexes with Natural and Dyed Twisted Fibres. Mangbetu People, DRC.
Selection of 7 Palm Leaf Cache-Sexes with Natural and Dyed Twisted Fibres. Mangbetu People, DRC.
Selection of 7 Palm Leaf Cache-Sexes with Natural and Dyed Twisted Fibres. Mangbetu People, DRC.
Selection of 7 Palm Leaf Cache-Sexes with Natural and Dyed Twisted Fibres. Mangbetu People, DRC.
Selection of 7 Palm Leaf Cache-Sexes with Natural and Dyed Twisted Fibres. Mangbetu People, DRC.
Selection of 7 Palm Leaf Cache-Sexes with Natural and Dyed Twisted Fibres. Mangbetu People, DRC.
Selection of 7 Palm Leaf Cache-Sexes with Natural and Dyed Twisted Fibres. Mangbetu People, DRC.
Selection of 7 Palm Leaf Cache-Sexes with Natural and Dyed Twisted Fibres. Mangbetu People, DRC.
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Back aprons (negbe, pl. egbe) such as these were particularly popular among upper-class Mangbetu women at the turn of the twentieth century.This distinctive kidney-shaped ornament pad was built up of intricately layered banana leaves. Worn on special occasions, egbe were affixed to the lower back by a girdle which would maintain a fiber extension into the hollow near the base of the spine.
What an early witness to these ornaments described as "a little apron of doubtful effect" was in fact not so much meant to cover the women's buttocks but rather to echo elegantly the shape of the distinctive Mangbetu halo-shaped hairdo, an elaborate conical construction that expended at the back of the head.