Kuba Tukula Pot

A beautiful Kuba tukula pot from the ex Merton Simpsons collection.
Tribe: Kuba

Origin: Kuba Kingdom, D.R.Congo

Approx Age: Early 20th Century

Materials: Wood

Dimensions cm: 21 tall x 12 widest point

Ref. Number: 0856


This is a stunning and old Kuba tukula pot, a wooden container from Merton Simpsons collection/inventory numbered 9039. This has acquired a crack which is visible from the photos, it still has remains of tukula / camwood powder on the inside. The beautiful styled Kuba incised patterning “nnaam” is very worn due to mass handling over the years of use.

Provenance: Inventory and Collection from the Estate of Merton D. Simpson.


Catalogue Notes of Merton D. Simpson:

The Kuba used elaborately carved containers of various shapes and sizes that were kept by Kuba to store costume accessories and items used for personal care. These included razors, beads, and camwood powder used to coat and beautify the skin. Surface decoration that cover these vessels and boxes are known as nnaam, a Kuba term referring to the tangled vines and creepers that grow in the fertile forests of this region.

One of the important art forms identified with competition between titled court members among the Kuba are the carved palm-wine drinking cups and ornately carved boxes that held tukula powder. With half of all Bushoong men holding titles in the 1880s, competition for influence was sometimes fierce, and found expression in the elaboration of these essentially commonplace household objects into works of extraordinary beauty.

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