Side-blown horn

Mende peoples
late 19th–mid–20th century
more object details

General Description

This elephant ivory horn has a mouthpiece on the inner, curving side of the instrument. It is adorned with intriguing figures carved in relief and incised curvilinear designs.

The use of ivory—a prestigious material—and the elaborate decoration indicate that this horn belonged to a paramount chief and was used to call warriors to battle, to play a fanfare that announced the ruler’s arrival, and to entertain with its bold tones.

Excerpt from

Roslyn A. Walker, Label text, Arts of Africa, 2015.