Kuba textiles first appeared on the Western art market in the early 1980s and immediately attracted the attention of contemporary art collectors who recognized in them issues explored by 20th century Western artists like Matisse (who collected them) and others. They are made of raffia—a palm fiber—tightly woven by men and decorated by women in asymmetrical, rhythmic patterns that almost suggest music or movement. They were used as prestige clothing and some types functioned as currency.

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