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Harp

Object Number:
81-11-67
Current Location:
Culture:
Mangbetu
Provenience:
Zaire
Northeastern Zaire
Culture Area:
Central Africa
Section:
African
Materials:
Ivory
Wood
Snakeskin
Description:
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.
Credit Line:
Found in Collection

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