Lot 25

Two Kuba Tukula Powder Funerary Bars, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Estimate: $300 - $500
Sold for

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$0 $25
$200 $50
$500 $100
$3,000 $250
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$30,000 $2,500
$100,000 $5,000

Largest: 2 1/4 x 17 1/4 x 4 1/2 in.

Note: Tukula, a bright red pigment, is obtained by rubbing together pieces of heartwood from a tropical tree. Two tree species, Camwood (Bafia nitra) and African Padauk (Pterocarpus soyauxii), are valued for their red heartwood. Ground in a mortar such as this example, tukula becomes a fine powder that is mixed with palm oil to create a paste, which can be variously shaped. Tukula can be used as a textile dye, paint for carved objects, and for cosmetics. When baked, tukula paste hardens into blocks (known as bongotol), which are decorated and presented as funerary gifts. The incised patterns deploy the same abstract and graphic vocabulary as that found on other Kuba prestige items.


Wear is consistent with use. Minor age splits, nicks especially along the edges and backs. Generally in good overall condition.Not withstanding this report or any discussion concerning condition of a lot, all lots are offered and sold "as is" in accordance with our conditions of sale.