Palm Wine Drinking Horn

Buffalo horn with concentric circles, geometric shapes and beadlike bands carved in relief follow the natural contours of the horn to its pointed tip. Has a local repair—a metal suture sewn at the mouth to stabilize a crack. Has cord pierced through tip.
Artist Unknown, African, Kuba Peoples Democratic Republic of the Congo
1800-1850
In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, palm wine drinking cups fashioned from the horns of the bush buffalo were used exclusively by Kuba warriors and soldiers as emblems of their ferocity and connection to the wilderness. The cord pierced through the tip of the horn allowed it to be worn by its owner as part of his regalia.
Gift of Candis and Helmut Stern
2005/1.209
Wednesday, August 5, 2020