X67.870 Rattle

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(thafu ma luangu)
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Kongo peoples
Wood, fiber, seeds, pigment
H: 41.0 cm, W: 11.5 cm (H: 16.1 in, W: 4.5 in)
Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of the Wellcome Trust. X67.870


The figures on this rattle represent Maundu and Malanda, the first initiates of the Khimba society, who are responsible for the well-being of the community. They can also represent the double-headed serpent or rainbow god, Mbumba, who protects Khimba initiates. The initiates are hidden from townspeople for several moths while they are taught how to live together. The Khimba members hold these rattles in their hands when they dance.

Source: DjeDje, J. C. (1999). “Turn Up the Volume! A Celebration of African Music”, Los Angeles: UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History. page 269