Mangbeto Tribe Nedundu Slit Drum—Museum Piece!
This is a museum-quality ethnographic piece!
Type: Slit Drum
Ethnography: Mangbetu People
Democratic Republic of Congo, Central Africa
Early 20th C.
Carved Wood, and Brass
About 30" X 16" X 6"
Nedundu slit drums are one of the most sought forms of African art. This one exhibits superior carving, superior tackwork and a wonderful dark brown patina.
These type of drums were part of a chief’s orchestra and were played during dances, to announce that the leader was going to drink palm wine or when a chief was going to visit another notable.
The elegant form of the slit drums used by the Mangbetu (and the neighbouring peoples of N.E. Zaïre and adjacent countries) evolved so that the player can slit the straps that loop through the handles about his shoulders. Cf. an almost identical drum collected by Edkins amongst the Mangbetu in 1954 (Laurenty, J.S., Les Tambours à Fente de l’Afrique Centrale, Tervuren, 1968, Pl. XVIII,no.206).
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