Democratic Republic of Congo Kuba Peoples Ceremonial Palm Wine Vessel

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Object Description

A Democratic Republic of Congo Kuba Peoples Ceremonial Palm Wine Vessel with Interlaced Abstract Designs the Handle Finely Carved with an Elongated Female Figure
Old dry smooth dark brown patina
Late 19th – Early 20th Century

Size: 16cm high, 13.5cm dia. (max) 6¼ ins high, 5¼ dia. (max)

Object History

Provenance:
Ex Belgian Colonial Missionary Family
Ex Private European collection

Object Literature

Palm wine ‘Maan’ is made from the sap of a raffia palm tree. After six years of growth the mature tree is ready to be tapped. Palm wine specialists collect the sweet alcoholic liquid twice a day, early morning and late evening. It is then carried back in large gourd containers to be consumed. It can be drunk immediately or allowed to ferment, growing more intoxicating over the course of a day. The first early morning liquid is considered the sweetest, and Emile Torday recorded that the Bushoong had a proverb declaring that a man is like palm wine: ‘sweet youth lacks wisdom, wise old age lacks sweetness of character’. (1925:143)

Object Details

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