It is true that when you are looking for an authentic kuksa, handmade in Finland, the cost varies around 50-200 €, or even more depending on the capacity. But, by buying this kuksa you value the Sami know-how and you make the tradition last.
Buying a cheap wooden cup made in China destroys this craft and these traditions. By the way, here's how to recognize an authentic kuksa from a wooden cup made in China.
Here are the 4 points that make the price of a kuksa vary.
Masur birch burl comes from the Masur birch or Karelian birch, a species that only grows in extreme climatic conditions in Scandinavia. Karelia, incidentally, being a region between Finland and Russia.
The Karelian birch is very present in southern Finland, but also in southern Sweden and southeastern Norway. However, it remains most abundant in Finland and Karelia in Russia.
As you can see, the birch is found in large quantities in Scandinavia, but the rare element is the burr, a growth that forms naturally as a result of stress on the tree.
When you go to buy a kuksa, make sure it is handmade, as this is the only proof of its authenticity. A person can take a few days or even months to create a single kuksa. It is therefore normal that a cup made by hand for several days costs more than an industrial cup made with robots.
It is important to know that there are 9 steps to carve a kuksa and some of them require a lot of work and elbow grease. And, once the kuksa is carved, it needs a long time to dry before being used or shipped to its buyer.
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Today, in Finland, there are many manufacturers of kuksa. But the demand is also very high. So they are in high demand. The high demand of customers and the fact that the magnifying glass is rare means that it is difficult for them to have stock and especially to keep it!
It is also important to know that a kuksa is unique, no two kuksa are alike! Because of the hand carving, but also because of the wood. What can vary is a few millimeters on the height or depth of the cup or the length of the handle. And it is this difference that makes a kuksa rare and beautiful handmade.
As mentioned above, Masur birch burl is rare, so it is difficult to get it in bulk.
However, it is not forbidden to make a cup from a different wood than the burr. A cup made from a different wood may cost less, because the material is more common and therefore less expensive. But it depends of course on the wood chosen.
Finally, on the kuksa, and as mentioned in the steps of making a kuksa, there is sometimes reindeer horn built in at the handle.
The reindeer horn is bought from reindeer breeders. And so, this finishing will also make the price of the cup vary.
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