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Side-Blown Horn with Figurative Base (Oko)

Arts of Africa

On View: African Storage Annex, East Gallery, 1st Floor

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.

CULTURE Edo
MEDIUM Ivory, copper
DATES 18th or 19th century
DIMENSIONS 15 x 3 1/2 x 7 in. (38.1 x 8.9 x 17.8 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Arts of Africa
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in African Storage Annex, East Gallery, 1st Floor
ACCESSION NUMBER 1996.171a-b
CREDIT LINE Gift of Beatrice Riese
RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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CAPTION Edo. Side-Blown Horn with Figurative Base (Oko), 18th or 19th century. Ivory, copper, 15 x 3 1/2 x 7 in. (38.1 x 8.9 x 17.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Beatrice Riese, 1996.171a-b. Creative Commons-BY
IMAGE component, 1996.171a_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Ivory tusk (a) carved in high relief, encased at the open end in a cast copper alloy collar (b). 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.
RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (85%)
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Side-Blown Horn with Figurative Base (Oko)