Your kuksa will last your lifetime with good care and use. There is a great connection to be had with the equipment we use. With some things we have, neither can do without the other, the master and their instrument are inter-dependent. This is most true with disciplines that require tools, performing for their masters and in return being treated with oil or repair. It is also true with the vessels needed for life out of doors. May it be a kuksa, or a kettle, or a makeshift birch bark ladle, each requires the care of their user to remain in good working order. Left neglected, they will cease to function.
As a people we are always looking for easier ways to perform tasks and otherwise live our lives. Sometimes this implies severing the bond between master and instrument, by making the device immortal and independent. While this has its obvious benefits, it also removes a connection with the world around us, a reminder that we are all in the end reliant on each other, part of an ecosystem, a fact very valuable to remember in the quickly changing modern world.
A wooden kuksa is biodegradable, and will remind you of this if forgotten, returning gladly to the soil. To keep your kuksa in good condition, all that is required is your need and love of it.
Traditionally cured kuksa are first treated with a combination of cognac and coffee, starting with the cognac which is swirled around then drunk (as many times as necessary!), followed by strong coffee filled to the brim which is left for a day then poured away.
You can drink anything from your kuksa (save milk by tradition), so long as you don’t:
- leave to soak for long periods.
- wash with detergent.
- dry by heat.
But by all means do:
- wax or oil the outside every now and then.
- enjoy your beverage.
All written material: Copyright Ian Tompsett 2010-2016