This is a wooden copy of a small cup (Suka, kopa; Yaka, kyopa or mbaasa made from a pumpkin-shaped gourd, halved vertically. The cavity within is not divided and in use the drinker would hold one end of the cup in the hollow of his palm, with index finger and thumb in the middle recesses.
On both sides is a face representing a hemba nkisi, a northern Suku charm and initiation mask, intended to ward off unauthorised touching of the cup.
Margret Carey, 1997
Entry taken from Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Collection, Vol. 2: Pacific, African and Native North American Art, edited by Steven Hooper (Yale University Press, 1997) p. 190.
Formerly in the Evan Thomas Collection (no. 748).
Gift from K. J. Hewett to Robert and Lisa Sainsbury in 1972.
Donated to the Sainsbury Centre, University of East Anglia in 1973 as part of the original gift.
Not on display
Born: 1900 - 1999
Object Type: Cup
Measurements: h. 114 x w. 120 x d. 100 mm
Accession Number: 257
Historic Period: 20th century
Cultural Group: Pende, Yaka
Credit Line: Donated by Robert and Lisa Sainsbury, 1973