Horn, Ivory, leather, reptile skin, possibly Congolese


late 19th century
possibly Dem. Rep. of Congo
possibly Congolese
Ivory, leather, reptile skin
L. 100.7 cm (39 5/8 in.); Diam. at narrow end ±3.2 cm (1 1/4 in) Oval wider end H. 13.7 x W. 12 cm (5 3/8 x 4 3/4 in)
Aerophone-Lip Vibrated-horn
Credit Line:
The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments, 1889
Accession Number:
Not on view
Most Sub-Saharan horns and trumpets are blown from the side rather than from the tip where they may be pierced to allow the player to sound different notes by opening and closing the end hole. Depending on regional tradition, blowholes may have a distinctive shape and appear on the concave or convex curve of the tube. Despite diminished importance as military signal instruments, side-blown horns remain a symbol of power and retain an important position in royal regalia. They are played singly or more often, in a large ensemble.
Mary Elizabeth Adams Brown