bowl (containers)

Carved Kuba wooden cup or bowl with handle, sometimes known as a 'palm wine cup'. The cup is decorated by interlocking geometric inscitions covering the surface.

Carved Kuba wooden cup, or bowl, sometimes known as 'palm wine cups' from what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo. The interlocking patterns incised onto the surface of the cup to have been traced to Kuba origin myths through recorded oral histories, associating them with Mweel, the sister and wife of the king Woot, who is thought to have invented mat weaving. Weaving involves a similar process threading fibres over and under each other, and may be thought of as practice of remembrance embedded in the everyday. Incised wooden cups such as this are relatively common in European Kuba collections and some have suggested that they were made specifically for a foreign market in the late-nineteenth and early 20th century.

Collection Information

These objects are only a part of our collections, of which there are more than 350,000 objects. This information comes from our collections database. Some of this is incomplete and there may be errors. This part of the website is also still under construction, so there may be some fields repeated or incorrectly formatted information.

The database sometimes uses language taken from historical documents to help research, which may now appear outdated and even offensive. The database also includes information on objects that are considered secret or sacred by some communities.

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