Object of the day: a ‘Mbala’ bottle opener

Image courtesy of Gi Mateusen.

Image courtesy of Gi Mateusen.

 

I came across a remarkable bronze object today. It’s clearly inspired on the famous Mbala statues of a drummer (as illustrated below), but it’s not in wood and much smaller.

 

Image courtesy of the Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren, Belgium.

Image courtesy of the Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren, Belgium.

 

The owner of the object was so kind to reveal the object’s function to me: a bottle opener, made for Belgian colonials, to be used during rituals involving beer 🙂  This object had a deep patina indicating extensive ritual use! These could be bought on Kinshasa’s craft market and were probably made far from the Mbala region to be sold as a souvenir of a visit to Congo.

 

Image courtesy of Gi Mateusen.

Image courtesy of Gi Mateusen.

I want one !