In this article, we reveal the essential points to avoid confusing an ordinary wooden cup with a kuksa traditionally made in Finnish Lapland. Discover, point by point, the clues to determine the authenticity of a real Kuksa.
Alexis Le Baron
Kuksa have always been a hiker's best friend and still are. They are strong, quiet and beautiful.
They also make it easy to drink hot beverages, as they do not burn the lips or hands. In addition, they keep the heat in cold places.
It is better to buy a high quality kuksa to :
Indeed, unlike wooden cups, kuksa keep better and are more pleasant to use every day.
In this article, you will find 6 points that will help you determine the authenticity of a kuksa.
During the last stage of production, the kuksa are boiled for 6 to 8 hours in salted water to improve their longevity.
Thus, this salty taste is present during the first uses.
Moreover, when a kuksa is produced and not used for a long period of time, it can dry out and cause small salt crystals to appear on the wood.
This salty taste can be disturbing at first, but it is easily removed by treating with coffee grounds.
It is also one of the few things that can really tell you the authenticity of your kuksa.
The authentic material of a kuksa is the "pahka" in Finnish or birch burr. It is a growth of the tree that is found on the trunk or branches.
This is the traditional material. It is also a strong and durable wood.
Pahka is easy to handle because of its round shape and can therefore be cut in any way you like.
Today, this material is mainly sourced from Russia, as this is the country with the largest harvest.
Unlike kuksa, the materials used for ordinary wooden cups, often made in China, are hard plastic and pine wood.
Thus, these components can result in :
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Wood has, as we often see, circle-shaped marks, but they are not always perfect circles, they can also be random shapes.
It's difficult to tell on some cups whether they are a man-made or a natural circle. Only the discerning eye will be able to recognize them.
In the past, kuksa were :
Nowadays, kuksa :
Machine-made kuksa lose a certain authenticity compared to traditional Sami handmade kuksa.
However, it is still a symbol of Sami culture.
Some Kuksa are signed on the bottom of the cup by the maker. This is not a guarantee of quality, but it can be a sign of authenticity.
The colour of a wooden cup can help you to recognise whether it is a genuine kuksa or not.
However, this is not the only thing you should look for.
The colour of the wood of a kuksa can vary greatly.
Because the colour of the wood sometimes changes with the seasons.
You can see on this picture below, the difference between a wooden cup made in China (top) and a traditional kuksa handmade by a Finnish artisan (bottom).
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PRESERVATIONHow to preserve your kuksa?
Discover the methods to prolong the life of your kuksa as well as the 4 mistakes to avoid. Also, find tips that the lapps give us.
KUKSA CREATORSWhat are the origins of kuksa?
We talk about the original creators of the kuksa : the Sami people, the native people of northern Scandinavia.
TYPES OF WOODWhich wood should be used to make a kuksa?
The traditional kuksa is made of birch burl, but it can be carved in other woods !