By Victoria Rovine
University of Florida (formerly University of Iowa)

Democratic Republic of the Congo; Mbuti peoples


Bark, pigment

W. 76.2 cm (30 in)

University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art, Gift of Molly and Walter Bareiss, 1993.47

While woven cloth is the dominant material for garments all over the world, cloth made of other materials has long been produced and worn in many parts of the world. Although Mbuti men and women increasingly wear woven cloth, they are perhaps the only Africans who continue today to create and wear bark cloth. Bark cloth production is a labor-intensive process requiring a great deal of skill, from the selection of the trees that the source of bark to the painting of designs on the finished cloth. Men do the work of cloth production.