Now, I personally wouldn't ever have one in my house, but they are fascinating pieces of art! My friend Liza works with Congo; there has been no mail service in years and it is in the top 10 of Least Developed Nations of the U.N.; the per capital income is under $1,000 per year. There have been so many problems: civil wars, economic collapse, hyper-inflation. It's interesting too that French is also an official language.
The Kubas were especially well-known for their textiles woven out of raffia; in many cases they tufted the raffia to add additional texture to the fabric; see two examples here; the raffia for the tufting is cut close but not knotted; the variation in style is prized:
Patchwork pieces are still being made in Congo; similar pieces were inspiring to Matisse and the avant-garde movement; the diamond pattern is shown even on the patchwork:
While I find the patchwork interesting, I love the diamond patterns, a motif that is repeated constantly:
When I went to the NY Gift a year ago, I picked up this piece at the flea. I went to ABC Home later that day and saw similar pieces for multiples of the price I paid, though I didn't see any as nice as this one, which is slightly tufted; at some point I'll frame it or use it for a pillow:
My next shipment from Madagascar will include yardage of this fabric. Mirrors? Bulletin boards? Picture frames?