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Cup

African Art

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Cup

Artwork Details

Artist/Maker

Kuba Artist, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Date

late nineteenth–early twentieth centruy

Medium

Wood

Accession #

72.40.122

Dimensions

7 x 3½ x 3½ inches

Location

On View - Stent Family Wing, Skyway, Gallery 401

Description

Kuba artists decorated nearly every available surface—including those of everyday objects, such as this cup used for drinking palm wine—with complex networks of geometric patterns. City walls and rectangular houses were made of mats plaited with geometric patterns; women’s bodies formerly were adorned with similar maze-like scarification marks. Of the more than two hundred named patterns used to adorn these various surfaces, one was inspired by the pattern of the tire tread left by a missionary’s motorbike during the 1920s. The pattern commemorated the Kuba king Kot Mabinc, who ruled at the time.

Credit

Fred and Rita Richman Collection