The Kuba are renowned for the refinement of decorative art objects created for members of the high ranks of their society: cups and drinking horns, baskets, weapons, neck rests, chairs, masks and statues. These items were also offered to passing visitors. The Leus live in the west of the Kuba kingdom and share common cultural characteristics with the Bushoong of the Kuba country. Both groups adorn their prestige objects with similar motifs. Their musical instruments, among which there are various carved drum forms, accompanied the masked dances or funeral ceremonies of the initiation societies. Decorated with zoomorphic figurative motifs evoking forest animals, this drum set on a flared base is also equipped with a handle adorned with a face extended with one hand. Held by small metal hooks inserted on the circumference of the drum, a reptile skin acts as a membrane. Dark, abraded and saken skate. The highly organized and hierarchical Kuba society placed a king or nyim in its centre inspiring the statuary of the ethnic group. This was considered to be of divine origin. Both head of the kingdom and of the bushoong chiefdom, he was attributed supernatural virtues from witchcraft or ancestors. He therefore ensured the sustainability of his subjects, whether through harvests, rain or the birth of children. These magical attributes were not hereditary, however, as the king was elected by a council. (Source: Kuba, ed. 5continents, Binkley and Darish; "Sura dji".)
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