Textile - Late nineteenth to early twentieth century
This piece of cloth is from Kasai in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is made of woven fibre, possibly raffia, with a design in yellow and black.
This cloth was brought to Reading by John and William Forfeitt. They both travelled to what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo for the Baptist Missionary Society, the former as Secretary and the latter as a missionary. It is likely that objects such as this were collected as curios, given up by locals who had been converted to Christianity or brought back to Britain for use in missionary exhibitions and fundraising talks. The Forfeitts had links to significant Reading families and businesses - both worked for Suttons Seeds before their mission with the BMS, and William Forfeitt married a daughter of the Collier family.
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