Kuba Cup

2770

$149.00

In stock

In stock

Kuba
ITEM #:
2770
ETHNICITY:
Kuba
ORIGIN:
Democratic Republic of Congo
KUBA PALM WINE CUP
The carved palm-wine drinking cups are a significant art form associated with competition among titled court members in the Kuba community.

Details


African Art

ITEM #:
2770
ETHNICITY:
Kuba People
ORIGIN:
Democratic Republic of Congo
MEDIUM:
Wood.
DIMENSIONS:
6.75″ Tall  x 5.5″ Wide (17 cm T x  14 cm W)
CONDITION:
Very Good.


African Art

PROVENANCE:
Private Estate Collection – California, USA.


African Art

CATALOGUE NOTE:

The carved palm-wine drinking Kuba cup is a significant art form associated with competition among titled court members in the Kuba community. In the 1880s, half of the Bushoong men held titles, leading to intense competition for influence. This competition translated into the creation of exquisite palm-wine drinking cups, which started as ordinary household objects.

The complexity of the Kuba cup came under public scrutiny because individuals of high status in the Kuba community showcased their generosity by distributing large amounts of palm wine to gain followers. The intricate artistry of these cups served as a way for office holders to express the uncertainty of their positions in this highly competitive environment.

Though not confirmed, there are reports suggesting that these cups might have been used in the poison ordeal. Among the Kuba people and other African tribes, death was never attributed to natural causes but seen as the result of malevolent spirits or witchcraft. If someone was suspected of practicing witchcraft, they were required to drink poison from these cups. If they vomited the drink, they were considered innocent. However, if they died, it was seen as proof of guilt and served as their punishment.

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