University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
Image is Not Available
Object Number: 81-11-67
Current Location: Africa Gallery
Currently On Display
Provenience: Zaire
Northeastern Zaire
Culture Area: Central Africa
Credit Line:Received from various sources, pre-1981
Other NumberDAS 2 - Other Number


Harp with snakeskin-covered body and an ivory neck. The snakeskin (which may be boa constrictor) completely covers a wooden frame which is roughly boat-shaped and curved; there are two small round soundholes placed diagonally across from each other. The harp originally had five strings; three wire strings are still attached to the body; but only one tuning peg is still present in the neck, and it is of wood. The neck is of white ivory and is carved zoomorphically. The end of the neck is of a vaguely bird-like head with a long slit bill. Most of the neck, however, is covered with a raised carving of a crocodile with a snake in its jaws; another snake is under its tail and near its back legs. All three animals twine around the column of the neck and are finely carved with detailed scales.

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