Sideblown HornArtist(s)Object Creation Date20th centuryMedium & SupportivoryDimensions
10 ⅝ in x 1 9/16 in x 1 ⅜ in (27 cm x 4 cm x 3.5 cm);7 11/16 in x 2 ¾ in x 2 13/16 in (19.5 cm x 6.9 cm x 7.2 cm)Credit LineGift and partial purchase from the estate of Kurt Delbanco in honor of Nicholas DelbancoSubject matter
While the elephant no longer inhabits the Cameroon Grassfields and surrounding areas, it still remains an important symbol of the power and authority of local rulers. Objects made from elephant ivory, like this side-blown trumpet, act as prestige objects. As ivory was an extremely valuable commodity, ivory objects also displayed a person’s economic prosperity. Ivory horns often formed part of the royal regalia, brought out for use as musical instruments at festivals or dances. The figure on this horn has both hands clasped under the chin, a pose associated with royal retainers.
Geary, Christaud M. 1992. “Elephants, Ivory, and Chiefs: The Elephant and The Arts of The Cameroon Grassfields” in Elephant: The Animal and its Ivory in African Culture
, Doran Ross, ed. UCLA: Fowler Museum of Cultural History.
Homberger, L. 2008. Cameroon: Art and Kings.
Zürich: Museum Rietberg.
Northern, Tamara. 1984. The Art of Cameroon.
Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution.
Page, Donna. 2007. A Cameroon World: Art and Artifacts from the Caroline and Marshall Mount Collection.
New York: QCC Art Gallery Press.Physical Description
An ivory sideblown horn with a dark patina. The top of the horn is decorated with a standing human figure. Both hands are placed underneath the chin. Directly under the figure is a carved hole. Primary Object Classification Musical Instrument Primary Object Typewind instrumentCollection AreaAfricanRights
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symbols of office or status