X86.2500 Harp with bridge

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Harp with bridge
Mali or Cote d’Ivoire
Senufo peoples
Wood, gut, string
L: 105.5 cm (L: 41.5 in)
Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Helen and Dr. Robert Kuhn. X86.2500


The figure of a woman on this harp reminds men of ideal female beauty, the balance necessary between men and women, the danger of the bush spirits, and the measures required to appease them. Women of the Sandogo divination society possess the power to regulate the conflicting worlds of men and women and of brush and village. Instruments such as this one are used by diviners in consultation with the spirit world.

Source: DjeDje, J. C. (1999). “Turn Up the Volume! A Celebration of African Music”, Los Angeles: UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History. page 293