Kuba - (Tribe Africa)

TheAntiqueTrade.co.uk Glossary of Antique Terms K

Kuba - (Tribe, Africa) When one speaks of the Kuba people you refer to a nation of subtribes most notably the Bushong, Pyaang, Kele, Batwa and Ngeende. The Kuba’s neighbors, the Luba gave them their name which means “people of lightning.” Kuba history is a violent one with resisting hostile invaders, instigating territorial takeovers, quieting social unrest and actively participating in the European slave trade. This war like disposition of the Kuba was epitomized by one of their kings…”You have seen me kill many men..if I should neglect this indispensable duty, would my ancestors suffer me to live?” After the abolition of slavery they continued to expand their military forces. In the 18th century a army of female solders known as ‘ahosi’, ‘the kings wives’ was put to task. Europeans referred to them as ‘Amazons.’ By the 19th century the Amazons formed the elite of the army. The Kuba with a seemingly unabated proclivity for war devised a series of sabers, swords, clubs, axes and knives that were unparalleled by any other African nation. They functioned primarily as offensive weapons of attack, secondarily as highly decorated ceremonial paraphernalia and ensuing as objects of great personal pride that indicated social position. The mere shape of the blade would convey the bearers distinctive status. The knives, fitted with strong metal blades and wooden hilts often carried mythological symbolism within their design. The fine selection that we offer was crafted in a style known as “ikul”, one reserved exclusively for the Bushong, the ruling class of the Kuba. The blade is bulbous and secure. The hilt, smooth and patinated.


Shoowa Design: African Textiles from the Kingdom of KubaShoowa Design: African Textiles from the Kingdom of Kuba

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