This is a figural cup hand carved by the Kuba people of DR – Congo. This piece has a beautiful deep dark brown patina. It stands 18.5 inches tall and weighs 6.5 pounds.
|Type of Object||
Jug, cup, vessel
|Country of Origin||
Good condition with imperfections and wear and tear. Possible previous repairs. See photos.
About the Kuba People
“During the 16th century, the Kuba migrated from the north and settled between the Sankuru and Kasai Rivers. Today, they number 250,000 and are subdivided into a number of tribes – the Bushoong, the Ngeende, the Kete, the Lele, the Binji, The Dengese, the Mbuun and the wongo. Each clan pays tribute to the Nyim, the king of the Bushoong ruling clan, but their internal affairs are dealt with autonomously. The Bushoong king and his court lived in a closed palace, known as the Mushenge. The king was responsible for the wealth and fecundity of his people.
Each clan within the Kuba kingdom produced artistic objects with specific characteristics, but there are common stylistic features, including predilection for incised geometric decoration. Cups, zoomorphic divination instruments and boxes were produced throughout the realm.”
Baquart, Jean-Baptiste. The Tribal Arts of Africa. New York: Thames and Hudson Inc. 1998. Print.
About the Kuba Cup
Many tribes, the Kuba included, would turn common household objects into works of extraordinary beauty in order to distinguish high ranking officials. Prestigious authoritative figures waved their generosity by dispensing great quantities of palm wine in these intricately carved cups to their friends and affiliates to attract a following.