Les différents raphia chez les batéké. Mode Gabonaise.


Créations de la styliste gabonaise Mireille Nzoubou

Le raphia est un tissu  confectionner à partir des fibres très fines de palmiers en bordures de rivières, "mfoumfoubou". La feuille d´ananas fournissait des fils d´une grande finesse, plus clairs que les folioles de palmiers, mais aussi plus courts. L´on se sert généralement de jeunes feuilles de palmiers. On le tisse à sec après une opération de décorticage. Il est utilisé comme élément vestimentaire chez les Bakongo de manière générale mais plus particulièrement dans la culture Téké.
Teinté de quelques franges de fibre rouge, il est réservé aux dignitaires. Les pagnes plus larges sont de fabrication tardive, composés de quatre rangées de pièces de taille variées, cousues par une couture rabattue, ménagent autant de rangs de franges. Des plis permettent d´utiliser les deux côtés frangés de chaque pièce, afin d´augmenter l´épaisseur de cette parure.
Mais, le raphia est aussi réservé aux grandes manifestations, pour les rites et comme tenues cache sexe (bilielé). On trouve cependant tout une variété de design attribuée au tissu en raphia. Les Batékés par exemple, présentent parmi tant d´autres échantillons,

- Mpou, ndzou, indzindjou : Généralement, pagnes réservés aux dignitaires, de par leur appellation mpou qui révèle le pouvoir, la puissance reflètant le Nzam´a mpou c´est à dire le "Dieu tout puissant",
- Mfoumfoulou : tissu raphia de fibres très fines,
- Tergal : À cause du tissage qui ressemble à la technique utilisée, comparée au tissu tergal.
- Ndouo na : Dont la confection à quatre franges de fibres reflète une couture très rabattue du tissu raphia.
- Limi : Ainsi appelé à cause de sa confection qui fait ressortir des stries saillantes comparables à celle d´une lime à étancher les couteaux et bien d´autres instruments. 

Espérons voir ses différents traphia dans les collections futures d'olgao, Angèle Epouta, Ilini, Chou Chou Lazare, Mireille Nzoubou et autres artistes gabonais. La différence ethnique est un atout culturel  pour le Gabon et non une faiblesse. En matiere de raphia la vèrite se trooouve chez nos parents Batékés.


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