Ekonda people (Konda)

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 684

This type of side-blown trumpet, produced for various nkumu (leaders), was originally used in battle. Today it is employed to add prestige to such ceremonies as the investiture or marriage of a nkumu, the birth of twins, or the propitiation of hunting and planting spirits. The faceted elephant tusk with a raised diamond-shaped mouthpiece on the concave side is typical of many Congolese trumpets. A flanged wood extension, painted with black-and-white stripes and checks, is similar in shape to the headpieces worn by Ekonda leaders. This form, characteristic of royal motifs at the turn of the century, also appears on special drums and rhythm-keeping stamping sticks.

Bondjo, Ivory, wood, polychrome, Ekonda people (Konda)

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