African art > Used objects, pulleys, boxes, loom, awale > Kuba horn

Kuba horn (N° 20282)

Carved cephalomorphic kuba horn with animal motifs. Its complex ornamentation was strictly reserved for objects associated with Bushoong royalty. The object is meticulously incised with geometric patterns related to body scarification, the designs of which are transferred in embroidery onto raffia textiles. The face evokes an ancestor in meditation.
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. Several Kuba groups indeed produced anthropomorphic objects with refined designs including cups, drinking horns and beakers. Smooth brown patina with mahogany highlights. Chips on the upper contour of the cup. 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 head of the kingdom and of the bushoong chieftaincy, he was attributed supernatural virtues stemming from sorcery or the ancestors. From then on, he watched over the perenniality of his subjects, whether it was via the harvests, the rain or the birth of children. These magical attributes were not hereditary, however, as the king was elected by a council. Until the end of the colonial era, Kuba artists created an infinite number of sculptures and objects of daily use for the king and his visitors.  

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OriginEx-collection luxembourgeoise
Countryrdc ex zaire
Height cm52
Width13 cm
Weight1.90 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°

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