Round 1

Luya Tshimbalanga luya_tfz at
Fri Jan 11 08:47:33 UTC 2008

Máirín Duffy a écrit :
> - I think the pattern is very interesting - I am not sure I fully
> understand the cultural context behind these patterns though. Can you
> explain their meaning / connotations a bit more?
There are a variation of meaning depending the complexity of the
pattern. They are based on natural element such as footprint, animal
shape to name a few. There is 150 different patterns, each with their
own name.

>  What is the cloth used for?
Decoration, ceremony, funeral ritual, gift and money. Note that shoowa
is also a velvet.

>  Who makes it?
Both men and women (woven and embroiled with no visible stitches
respectively)  Women from Kuba people including the sub group with the
same name (Shoowa) from Democratic of Congo. Henri Matisse design was
also inspired from the Kuba.
>  Do the patterns symbolized anything?
They symbolize the rank of the makers depending the complexity of the

>  What is the cloth made out of?
A shoowa is made of fiber of raffia palm as the basis. Coloured versions
use plant dye while royal version has additional small shells.
>  Do any of these have implications that relate to
> Fedora?
It represents the diversity of skills, balance and rhythm from the
community balance and rhythm. The ideas are to create a variety of
geometrical pattern corresponding to the days of week. It does not have
to be overly complicate hence the reason to use basic shape instead.

More information is available on and there is series of
images of shoowa velvet displaying various patterns.


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