X85.456 Trumpet

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Democratic Republic of the Congo
Lega peoples
H: 33.0 cm (H: 12.9 in)
Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Helen and Dr. Robert Kuhn. X85.456


Lega associate the elephant with power, leadership, and the Bwami society, whose members are conceptualized as “elephants”. Menbers if “kindi,” the highest level of Bwami, are called “nenemulamba, or “owners of ivory,” and they claim ivory for their exclusive use. In the past, members of Bwami blew ivory trumpets in preparation for battle or an elephant hunt, summoning an elephant’s bravery.

Source: DjeDje, J. C. (1999). “Turn Up the Volume! A Celebration of African Music”, Los Angeles: UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History. page 311