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Woman’s Bustle (Negbe) and Front Piece (Nogimwu)

Arts of Africa

At the beginning of the twentieth century, upper-class Mangbetu women wore a small banana or plantain leaf bustle (called a negbe) in the back to cover their buttocks. The women appliqued delicately cut and colored pieces of leaves atop an oval pad built up of layered plantain leaves. A similar but smaller object (called a nogetwe) was worn in the front over a belt to fasten a piece of bark cloth in place as a frontal covering.

CULTURE Mangbetu
MEDIUM Banana leaf, raffia
DATES early 20th century
DIMENSIONS a: 9 5/8 x 13 3/16 in. (24.4 x 33.5 cm) b: 3 3/8 x 4 1/2 in. (8.6 x 11.4 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Arts of Africa
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
ACCESSION NUMBER 31.1835a-b
CREDIT LINE Museum Expedition 1931, Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund
RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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CAPTION Mangbetu. Woman’s Bustle (Negbe) and Front Piece (Nogimwu), early 20th century. Banana leaf, raffia, a: 9 5/8 x 13 3/16 in. (24.4 x 33.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Expedition 1931, Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund, 31.1835a-b. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.31.1835b_front.jpg)
IMAGE front, CUR.31.1835b_front.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2014
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION a- Shape: oval with wide border of light and dark strips. Center is plain with small, dark random stitches. Dark top rectangle, decorated with multiple rows of finely twisted fiber. b- Flat base pad covered with linear patterns over lighter banana leaves. Base attached to a fiber roll, decorated with three diamond-shaped areas bound by light raffia bands.
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Mangbetu. <em>Woman’s Bustle (Negbe) and Front Piece (Nogimwu)</em>, early 20th century. Banana leaf, raffia, a: 9 5/8 x 13 3/16 in. (24.4 x 33.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Expedition 1931, Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund, 31.1835a-b. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.31.1835b_front.jpg)