- Label Text
- This Kuba prestige cup is a deft combination of human and animal traits. The human face is topped by a hairstyle in the form of ram's horns. This cup may have been royal property. The ram was a royal animal whose horns symbolized the supernatural power of kings and princes. The dense geometric carved patterns on the cup reflect the Kuba preference for overall decorative patterning.
- The cup was for palm wine, a popular drink served frequently. Such elaborately carved cups, highly prestigious possessions of Kuba men in the 19th and 20th centuries, have been gradually supplanted by metal or plastic vessels.
- Cup in the shape of a composite human/animal head (ram) with downward curving, fluted U-shaped horns on either side of the head. The top rim has a series of thin bands with a serrated band in the middle. The facial features include a V-shaped forehead and almond-shaped eyes, cut in half horizontally by a deep incision.
- Pierre Dartevelle, Brussels, before 1974
- Emile M. Deletaille, Brussels, 1974 to 1986
- Exhibition History
- Visionary: Viewpoints on Africa's Arts, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., November 4, 2017-ongoing
- Published References
- National Museum of African Art. 1999. Selected Works from the Collection of the National Museum of African Art. Washington, D.C.: National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, p. 132, no. 93.
- Petridis, Constantine. 2013. Fragments of the Invisible: The René and Odette Delenne Collection of Congo Sculpture. Cleveland: Cleveland Museum of Art; Milan: 5 Continents Editions, p. 21, no. 15.
- Data Source
- National Museum of African Art
- Kuba artist
- Late 19th century
- Credit Line
- Museum purchase
- H x W: 21 x 14 cm (8 1/4 x 5 1/2 in.)