Kuba royal cup


Art and power in the Kuba kingdom

African Kuba cups are arguably among the most famous vessels in traditional African art from Zaire. These objects were carved to order by the chiefs in order to pour palm wine into them, but above all testified to their rank as objects of prestige.

According to the workshops, the sculptural approach could vary greatly, so there are figurative examples like this one composed of a full body character whose exaggerated head serves as a receptacle. The room is fully decorated with splendor. Does this volume of the skull on a scale much larger than that of the body illustrate the fact of catching the big head? Nothing is less sure.

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Data sheet

Presumed dating
1st half XXth century
26 cm
Ethnic group
Kuba / Bakuba
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Tribal art collection Belgium

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