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Side-Blown Horn with Figurative Base (Oko)

The Edo believed that they could appease witches by offering them gifts of food. Small side-blown horns such as this were used to call witches to feasts specifically set out for them. The centrally carved figure on the piece represents the practitioner responsible for sounding the horns. This particular horn, which was placed on top of a metal stand, also served as a shrine object.

Catalogue Description:
Ivory tusk carved in high relief, encased at the open end in a cast copper alloy collar. There is a rectangular recess in the middle of the convex side of the tusk which has a circular opening at one end. The cast-metal component has high relief, undercut animals on the surface. There are numerous low raised ridges in the metal that connects animals to the borders. The metal is covered in red clay. Condition: The tusk and metal collar are in good condition. The tusk has remnants of a reddish resinous filmy deposit and appears to be coated with wax. The open end interior of the tusk has 2 cracks of an indeterminate length. The metal collar is covered with archaeological corrosion products that are obscured by reddish dirt. The interior has powdery green corrosion products as well as white deposits of an unidentified substance.


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