WhistleArtist(s)ChokweArtist NationalityChokwe (culture or style)Object Creation Date1900-1971Medium & Supportcarved wood and leather stringDimensions
4 3/16 in x 1 3/8 in (10.64 cm x 3.49 cm)Credit LineMuseum Purchase assisted by the Friends of the Museum of ArtLabel copy
The Jokwe carved their hunting whistles to be functional, portable works of art. Jokwe hunters arranged the whistle's high-pitched notes into a simple code, which they used to summon their companions or call their dogs. A cord was strung through a hole, visible here on the neck of the tiny carved head, so the hunter could wear the whistle.Subject matter
Up until the mid-20th century, whistles such as this were used during the hunt to communicate with fellow hunters and dogs. The whistle is carved as an anthropomorphic representation of an ancestor, a chief or a masked figure and therefore also functions as a status object. The whistle was either worn on a string as a pendant or it was tied to other objects. Physical Description
Anthropomorphic whistle with facial features, round torso and two round protrusions extending from the top of the coiffure and from the sides of the torso. The piece is hollow. Primary Object Classification Musical Instrument Primary Object TypewhistleCollection AreaAfricanRights
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symbols of office or status