Skip Navigation

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.
MEDIUM Ivory, fiber, cloth
DATES 19th century
DIMENSIONS 28 x 3 in. (diam.) (71.1 x 7.6 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Arts of Africa
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in African Storage Annex, East Gallery, 1st Floor
CREDIT LINE Gift of The Roebling Society
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 (charges apply).

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
CAPTION 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
IMAGE overall, 80.32_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 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.
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.