The AMICA Library
AMICA Library Year:
Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
A cylindrical wood cup with a slight center bulge; round, flat base and round open mouth with a smooth rim; walls completely carved with geometric motifs; top and bottom borders zigzag design followed by top and bottom bands with crosshatched (checkerboard) and small zigzag panels; center walls with five band zigzags on crosshatched (checkerboard) background; tan wood.
Kuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo
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Democratic Republic of the Congo, Africa
Height: 7 5/8"; width: 3 7/8"
Brooklyn Children's Museum
Brooklyn, New York, USA
Gift of Dr. Herbert S. Zim, 1975
Decorated Kuba cups are objects of wealth and prestige used for drinking palm wine and water. Cups are personal possessions carved by owner while traveling. Cups may be anthropomorphic with carved heads, possibly portraits, or, as in this example, geometric with interlace, triangular and checkerboard motifs. The geometric motifs are the same as those found on Kuba textiles, basketry and boxes. Other types of cups hold mixtures of tukula powder and oil for anointing the body.
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