This is a beautifully Carved and Etched Wood Kuba Gunpowder Container from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This pear-shaped container is entirely decorated with incised vertical, horizontal, and semicircular ribs, alternating with delicate cross-hatching, that occur on the sides. It was once filled with black gunpowder used in a flintlock muzzle-loading musket, a type of firearm was introduced through trade in the 17th century. Guns and gunpowder have been important European trade goods since the late 15th century, when they arrived in West Africa with Portuguese voyagers. Instrumental in expanding the Atlantic slave trade, firearms were at the top of the list of trade goods that were "everywhere called for" by the 17th century, according to a British merchant. African rulers, who were the first to own them, commissioned artists to make beautiful containers for the precious gunpowder that would be used to expand their territory and maintain their status as leaders. A wonderful item to add to your collection or home.
Shows age, some chips, loss of patina, but overall in good condition.
14.5" Tall with Handle
4.5" Wide at Bottom
3.5" Wide at Top
4" Deep Bottom
2.5" Deep Top
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