X87.1312 Double gong or bell

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Object Name: Double gong or bell (dawura, nnawuta)

Artist: Handle carved by Kwaku Bempah (active early 20th century)

Culture: Asante peoples

Place of Origin: Ghana

Date/Era: Circa 1920

Medium/Materials: Wood and iron

Dimensions: L: 57.5 cm, W: 14.0 cm (L: 22.6 in, W: 5.5 in)

Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Elizabeth Lloyd Davis.

Accession Number: X87.1312

The Akan twin gong called nnawuta is usually performed in connection with drumming associated with warrior groups (asafo), but it is also used to send messages. It is highly unusual, however, for an asafo double gong to have such an elaborately carved handle. It is more likely that this gong was associated with a court or shrine serving political and religious functions.

Source: DjeDje, J. C. (1999), Turn Up the Volume! A Celebration of African Music, Los Angeles: UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History, 281.

See also: Marla C. Berns, World Arts, Local Lives: The Collections of the Fowler Museum at UCLA. Fowler Museum, Los Angeles, 2014.

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