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Palm Wine Cup (Mbwoongntey)

Arts of Africa

For centuries among the Kuba, personal status has been indicated through finely designed objects. Even ordinary utilitarian objects 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 of a human head with a distinctive hairstyle associated only with royalty. Far more rare are cups such as this one, carved with full figures.
DATES 19th century
DIMENSIONS 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 5 1/4 in. (21.6 x 11.4 x 13.3 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Arts of Africa
CREDIT LINE Gift of Arturo and Paul Peralta-Ramos
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Wood, highly polished surface, in form of a kneeling man holding chin and stomach, scars on upper thighs, crosshatched hair dress, short torso, protruding chin and mouth, handle on back. CONDITION: Good.
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Kuba (Bushoong subgroup). Palm Wine Cup (Mbwoongntey), 19th century. Wood, 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 5 1/4 in. (21.6 x 11.4 x 13.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Arturo and Paul Peralta-Ramos, 56.6.37. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 56.6.37_threequarter_PS2.jpg)
IMAGE threequarter, 56.6.37_threequarter_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2007
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