African art > Jars, amphoras, pots, matakam > Kuba Cup

Kuba Cup (N° 16694)

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Abundance of decorative carvings in African Kuba art.
The anthropomorphic cup probably symbolizes the character of Bwoom in masked royal dances. It is formed of heads superimposed on legs. Different forms of cups were sculpted whose ornamentation sought to glorify the qualities of their owners. Satin patina, abrasions and cracks of desiccation.
The extremely organized and hierarchical Kuba society placed at its center a king or nyim inspiring the statuary of the ethnic group.
This one was considered to be of divine origin. At the same time chief of the kingdom and of the Bushoong chieftaincy, he was attributed supernatural virtues stemming from sorcery or from the ancestors. He was therefore responsible for the survival of his subjects, whether it was through the harvests, the rain or the birth of children. These magical 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 members of the higher ranks of their society. The Lele live in the west of the Kuba kingdom and share common cultural characteristics with the Bushoong of Kuba country. Both groups adorn their prestige objects with similar motifs. Source: Kuba, ed. 5continents, Binkley and Darish.  

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OriginCollection belge
EthnyKuba
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood
Height cm25
Width8 cm
Weight0.40 Kg
Estimated dating2ème halfxx°

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