Arts of Africa
These pendants carved from hippopotamus teeth were strung on cords with beads and amulets. The gesture of the hands on the breasts signifies divination, respect, and the containment of royal secrets.
The pendants are portraits, or at least likenesses, of certain revered ancestors, who are named and honored. Devotees have rubbed the figures with oil in homage to these ancestors, creating a smooth, rich color and lustrous surface.
3 3/4 x 1 x 1 1/4 in. (9.5 x 2.5 x 3.2 cm) (show scale)
This item is not on view
Museum Expedition 1922, Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license
. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.
Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please contact email@example.com
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Luba. Pendant, 19th century. Hippopotamus tooth, 3 3/4 x 1 x 1 1/4 in. (9.5 x 2.5 x 3.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Expedition 1922, Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund, 22.1235. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 22.1235_PS2.jpg)
left, 22.1235_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2007
"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.
Pendant with slightly curved torso, carved in the round from a hippopotamus tooth. Face is oval-shaped; eyes, oval and closed; and nose, triangular. From back, headdress is flat with large cross carved in relief. Neck composed of three stacked folds or rings. Arms are close to body; hands hold breasts. Two curved projections extend from bottom of figure on each side. Wooden core is inserted in hollowed-out bottom of figure. Slight discoloration in center of torso; small check on top of head. Below neck area a hole pierces entire object for suspension.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.