Side-Blown Horn (Mpungi) or (Kithenda)
Arts of Africa
On View: African Storage Annex, East Gallery, 1st Floor
A prominent leader owned this horn. It was blown to announce his arrival at special events and state occasions. The deep red-orange color resulted from repeated applications of palm oil and years of handling.
Ivory, fiber, cloth
Gift of The Roebling Society
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Kongo (Yombe subgroup). Side-Blown Horn (Mpungi) or (Kithenda), 19th century. Ivory, fiber, cloth, 28 x 3 in. (diam.) (71.1 x 7.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of The Roebling Society, 80.32. Creative Commons-BY
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Ivory transverse horn the tip of which is carved in the form of a kneeling figure. The headdress is surmounted by a tall, slightly curved configuration, possibly the head of a reptile. There is a vessel held in each hand, possibly a calabash in right and a cup in the left. The mouth is open and filed teeth are visible. Beneath the figure on the convave side is a rectangular section that is pierced for the blow hole. The hole is oval in shape, and set in a square section that juts out slightly from the tusk. The rest of the tusk constitutes about two-thirds of the total length. The widest part is decorated with an attached sheath of basketweave fiber. Cloth binding is visible under fiber wrapping near end. The horn has a glossy burnished orange patina. CONDITION: Excellent. The bottom edge shows evidence of wear; it is uneven as a result of chipping, one small section on inside curve is mising, and the condition of the edge is extremely fragile.
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