Anthropomorphic spoon "kalukili"
D. R. Congo, Lega
|Provenance||Size||Starting price / estimated price|
|Old Colonial Collection||L: 7.5 inch||13000 EUR / 25000 EUR|
ivory, base The possession of these precious spoons was reserved for members of the highest initiation level "kindi" and the organizers of the circumcision rites. They were considered treasured heirlooms. The "kalukili" were used in various ways: They are placed in the mouth of young men at the moment of the circumcision operation, to compensate the pain. A person sentenced to drink poison because of witchcraft could be pardoned if a relative put a spoon into his mouth. The spoon had a form of blocking function and prevented the execution of the punishment. As a sign of criticism of inappropriate behaviour of other initiates, the spoons were used like weapons in mock attacks. In a "kindi" rite called "elephant skinning" they were used like knives.