ca. 1915
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Ekonda people (Konda)
Ivory, wood, polychrome
Height: 54 15/16 in. (139.5 cm)
Diameter (At widest point): 8 3/16 in. (20.8 cm)
Aerophone-Lip Vibrated-trumpet / trombone
Credit Line:
Purchase, Rogers Fund, Roger L. Stevens Family Fund Gift, Gifts of Herbert J. Harris, and Brian and Ann Todes, by exchange, Kay T. Krechmer Bequest, in memory of her husband, Harold H. Krechmer, and funds from various donors, 1992
Accession Number:
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.
[ Jacques Hautelet ]
Jayson Kerr Dobney, Bradley Strauchen-Scherer. Musical Instruments: Highlights of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. First Printing. @2015 by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. New York, 2015, pp. 134-135, ill.

"Recent Acquisitions: A Selection 1992-1993." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (1993), pg. 84, ill.