Mbuty pongo

Painted bark loincloth “ Pongo”. Pounded ficus bark, plant dye, painting. Mbuti people. Ituri rainforest. D.R. Congo. Good condition with some small holes. 20th. century. Dimension cm. 87 x 65 (34 x 26 inches). Mbuti people live in the Ituri Forest, one of the world's oldest rain forests. They are one of the last hunter-gatherer cultures left in the world. Hunther-gatherers are people who get their food from their natural environment by hunting wild animals and gathering plants. They move their camps every few weeks or mounths, going where the plants and wildlife are most plentiful. Drawing and painting are daily activities for the Mbuti. To make a bark cloth painting, the men collect the bark from various forest trees. They soften the bark with water or heat, and then pound it flat with a hammer. When the bark is as soft as cloth, it is ready for the women to decorate. Mbuti women are the artists. They paint alone or in groups, taking turns adding and changing to the patterns. They always improvise, or make it up as they go along. Sometimes Mbuti paintings contain motifs, or frequently repeated designs, that can represent things from their environment like snakes and flying bugs. Usually, though, Mbuti paintings are totally abstract. price on request.

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