Side-Blown Horn (Mpungi) or (Kithenda)

Unknown19th century

Brooklyn Museum

Brooklyn Museum

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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  • Title: Side-Blown Horn (Mpungi) or (Kithenda)
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 19th century
  • Location Created: Nsundi Sida Sector, Village of Mbuku Mbaka, Lukula region, Kongo Central Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Type: Musical Instrument
  • Rights: Gift of The Roebling Society
  • External Link: http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/opencollection/objects/4848/Side-Blown_Horn_Mpungi_or_Kithenda
  • Medium: Ivory, fiber, cloth
  • Dimensions: 28 x 3 in. (diam.) (71.1 x 7.6 cm)
  • Culture: Kongo (Yombe subgroup)
  • Collection: Arts of Africa
  • Accession number: 80.32