Palm Wine Cup (Mbwoongntey)
Arts of Africa
For centuries, among the Kuba, indications of personal status have been an important element in crafted objects. Even ordinary utilitarian items such as drinking cups for palm wine may indicate wealth and status through elegant carvings and decorations. Frequently, cups intended for use by rulers are carved in the form human head with a distinctive hairstyle associated only with royalty. Far more rare are cups carved with full figures.
Wood, copper alloy
8 x 3 3/4 x 3 3/4 in. (20.3 x 9.5 x 9.5 cm) (show scale)
Museum Expedition 1922, Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund
Prior to 1922, provenance not yet documented; by 1922, acquired by François Poncelet of Brussels, Belgium; 1922, purchased in Brussels from François Poncelet by Stewart Culin for the Brooklyn Museum.
Barrel-shaped wooden goblet with pedestal. Object incised with angular snake symbols on a crosshatched background. Base has bands of zigzags and diamond shapes. Patina is dark brown.
Condition: good, except for a long vertical crack in the body that has been repaired with three metal clamps.
This item is not on view
Kuba. Palm Wine Cup (Mbwoongntey), 19th century. Wood, copper alloy, 8 x 3 3/4 x 3 3/4 in. (20.3 x 9.5 x 9.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Expedition 1922, Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund, 22.172. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 22.172_SL1.jpg)
overall, 22.172_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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