Kuba Braided Raffia Belt with Cowrie Shells Congo
This piece could have been worn by young people as a belt to hold up the voluminous raffia skirts, or as a headband, a armlet or a anklet for nobles. The prominent display of cowries in the royal costume emphasizes the ruler as by far the wealthiest person in the kingdom, so wealthy that he purportedly ate pulverized cowries as part of his diet. A king's rainment weighed as much as 185 pounds! The 130 titled individuals at court also had their own costume forms.
Approximate Age: Early 20th Century