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Africa Direct

Kuba Carved Lidded Box Congo African Art

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Title Kuba Carved Lidded Box Congo African Art
Type of Object Vessel, Container
Country of Origin Democractic Republic of Congo
People Kuba
Materials Wood
Approximate Age 20th century       
Height (in) 3.5
Width (in) 4
Depth (in) 6
Overall Condition Good to fair. Most of our pieces have spent decades on at least two continents, and have been treasured by several owners.   Small splits, scrapes and cracks are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use.  We examine each piece carefully when we receive it and report any damage we find in our listings.  Please look carefully at the pictures which may also reveal condition and damage.

Additional Information: An interesting Carved Lidded Vessel with intricate geometric designs and faces carved into its sides.

Wooden vessels and containers are among the most popular artifacts found in the Kuba region in the savanna region of the southeastern part of Democratic Republic of the Congo. These carvings may be seen as the consecration of decorative art among the Kuba. Kuba society is devoted to the visual: The art of decoration reigns supreme. Their art is prized both for the quality and care of their craftsmanship and for the astounding power of their design (Bwiin) which touched sensitivity of western collectors and artists. All artifacts are decorated with geometric design, as if its absence indicated poverty (Meurant, George, Showa Design, p.131). The carving of these carvings frequently involves intense competition, with the most intricate and beautiful ones carved for royalty. In the ancient time, carvings such as this were also used to administer a poison to criminals. Wooden carvings like this were also found among the Kuba neighboring peoples such as the Wongo, Pende, Leele, Ngeende, Ngoongo to cite a few of them.

For Further Information and similar pieces see:-Meurant, George, 1986, ART KUBA, Credit Communal, Brussels-Meurant, George, 1986, SHOOWA DESIGN, Brussels-Mack, John, EMILE TORDAY AND ART OF THE CONGO 1900-1909, University of Washington Press, Seattle-Cornet, Joseph, 1982, ART ROYAL KUBA, Edizioni Sipiel, Milano-Cornet, Joseph, 1978, A Survey of Zairian Art-The Bronson Collection, North Carolina Museum of Art