Cup in form of head

Pende peoples
late 19th or early 20th century
more object details

General Description

On ceremonial occasions, men and women in many parts of Africa drank palm wine or locally brewed beer from plain or elaborately decorated cups, according to the consumer's social status.

Pende cups replicate the facial features found on wooden masks that represented behaviors to emulate or avoid. The face on the cup raised on a pedestal is that of a woman, as indicated by the smooth, rounded forehead, lowered eyelids, and upturned lips, all of which signify feminine modesty.

Adapted from

Roslyn A. Walker, Label text, Arts of Africa, 2015.

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