Ex-German African art collection.Abundance of decorative sculptures in African kuba art.
The anthropomorphic cup, like the mask bwoom , is engraved with geometric decorative motifs borrowed from scarification, also found on shoowa raffia textiles. Various forms of cups were carved, whose ornamentation sought to glorify the qualities of their owners. Abraded semi-matt patina.
The extremely organized and hierarchical Kuba society placed in its center a king or nyim inspiring the statuary of the ethnic group.
It was considered to be of divine origin. At the same time chief of the kingdom and the bushoong chieftaincy, one attributed supernatural virtues to him stemming from witchcraft or ancestors. He thus ensured the perpetuation of his subjects, whether through harvests, rain or the birth of children. These magic attributes were not hereditary, however, as the king was elected by a council.
The Kuba are renowned for the refinement of prestige objects created for the high ranks of their society. The Lélé live in the west of the Kuba kingdom and share common cultural specificities with the Bushoong of the Kuba country. Both groups decorate their prestige objects with similar patterns.
Source: Kuba, ed. 5continents, Binkley and Darish.
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