Kuba Tribe, DRC

Height : 16 cm    Age : 1st half of 20th century

Materials :
wood, beads

Impressive fragment of the cup for palm wine with human head motive. Kuba tribe is famous for production and using of precisely made cups with anthropomorphic signs. Their massive decorations expressed owner’s wealth, status and style. The cups were usually formed into human head shape which was sign of old-fashioned habit “drinking from enemy’s head” to get enemy’s power. The Palm wine is slightly intoxicating favorite drink in various places in Africa. It’s getting sour quickly so it needs to be consumed promptly. There is 1 well-describing Kuba proverb:

“The human is like palm wine –  young man is lacking wisdom, the old one sweetness.”

Serving wine to guests is sigh of hospitality, practiced since 17th Century. Host offered cups to guests, they firstly admired the object’s beauty and then they drank up. Cups were used also during initiating rituals. 

Provenience :
Swiss private collection

Ask for price :