Democratic Republic of the Congo
Pende Artist (Democratic Republic of the Congo)
Late nineteenth–early twentieth century
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Gift of Bernard and Patricia Wagner
Currently not on view
A heart-shaped face animates this cup. The face tilts slightly to one side, giving the sculpture a subtly asymmetrical expression. Its central support balances on one foot. Pende sculptors carved such ceremonial cups to hold palm wine, a mildly intoxicating beverage made from the fermented sap of certain palm trees. Drinking palm wine was reserved primarily for initiated men.