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Image of N'Koku Ngoombu (Slit-Drum) Hunting Charm

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unknown Yaka
Yaka Primary

N'Koku Ngoombu (Slit-Drum) Hunting Charm

19th century - 20th century
Carved and beaded wood with glass beads and patina

8 1/16 in. x 4 1/2 in. x 1 15/16 in. (20.5 cm x 11.5 cm x 5 cm)

Bryn Mawr College
Accession Number: 99.3.118.a
Other Number(s): 98 (223A) (Neufeld Collection Number)
223A (Sotheby's Lot Number)
Geography: Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Classification: Ceremonial and Performance Artifacts; Ritual Objects
Culture/Nationality: Yaka, Congolese, Central African, African
Collection: Neufeld Collection

Keywords Click a term to view the records with the same keyword
This object has the following keywords:
  • African - Refers to the cultures of the continent of Africa, which is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean, and the Mediterranean Sea.
  • carvings - Refers to works executed by cutting a figure or design out of a solid material such as stone or wood. It typically refers to works that are relatively small in size, are part of a larger work, or are not considered art. For large and medium-sized three-dimensional works of art, use the broader term "sculpture" or another appropriate term.
  • Central African - Styles and cultures from a wide region of Africa that straddles the Equator and is drained largely by the Congo River system.
  • ceremonial objects - Refers broadly to articles associated with or used in the context of a ceremony, which includes formal acts conducted elaborately, solemnly, and as prescribed by the ritual or protocol of religious, state, court, social, or tribal procedure.
  • Congolese - Nationality, styles, and cultures of the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • cowrie shell - Shell of any of numerous marine gastropod mollusks of a family widely distributed in warm seas; beautifully polished, often brightly colored, and much used for ornament or as money.
  • fetishes - Objects believed to be enchanted, or have magical power to aid or protect its owner.
  • figures - Illustrations, diagrams, etc. that are printed along with the text of a book for the purpose of clarifying or illustrating the text of a book.
  • minkisi - Sculpture used to contain potent medicines that are associated with spiritual or healing power, often taking the form of carved wooden figures or assemblages of objects, such as bundles, shells, pots, and amulets. Originating in the Congo region of Africa, their use in divination, protection, and healing rites has been carried to Cuba, Haiti, Brazil, and the American South.
  • Mkako - Refers to works produced by the African ethnic group of the same name, inhabiting southeastern Cameroon.
  • ritual objects - Objects used for a particular ritual activity, often as part of a ceremony.
  • slit drums - Percussion idiophones made by cutting, burning, or gouging a slit in the wall of a hollowed-out piece of wood, used for musical or signaling purposes.
  • wood - The principal tissue of trees and other plants that provides both strength and a means of conducting nutrients. Wood is one of the most versatile materials known.

Additional Images Click an image to view a larger version
Additional Image 99.3.118.a_BMC_f_2.jpg
Additional Image 99.3.118.a_BMC_r.jpg
Additional Image 99.3.118.a_BMC_pr.jpg
Additional Image 99.3.118.a_BMC_pl.jpg
Additional Image 99.3.118.a_BMC_f.jpg

Exhibition List
This object was included in the following exhibitions:
  • Highlights from the Mace and Helen Katz Neufeld Donation of African Art Bryn Mawr College , Sep 1, 1998 – Dec 1, 1998

  • Owner Name: Mace Neufeld and Helen Katz Neufeld, Class of 1953
    Role: Donor
    Place: Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, US
    Ownership End Date: 12.20/1996

  • Owner Name: Christie's Tribal Art Auction Lot 53
    Role: Auction House
    Place: London, England
    Ownership End Date: April 27, 1976

Bibliography List
The following Bibliography exist for this object:
  • Important Tribal Art Sotheby's . New York, NY, 1989
    Figure Number: 223a
  • Christie's Tribal Art Auction, London, England Christie's Auction House. April 27, 1976
    Page Number: 14, Lot 53, Figure Number: Plate 5
  • "African Heritage Document and Research Center." (Accessed June 11, 2020): Record No.: 0017054.

Comparanda List
The following Comparanda exist for this object:
  • William A. Fagaly, Shapes of Power, Belief and Celebration: African Art from New Orleans Collections (New Orleans, Louisiana: New Orleans Museum of Art, 1989), 102. Figure Number: 114
  • "The Brooklyn Museum Online Collection." The Brooklyn Museum Online Collections Database. (Accessed April 9, 2020): Brooklyn Museum, Accession No.: 22.1461.

Related Bibliography List
The following Related Bibliography exist for this object:
  • Kenneth Lee Adelman, "The Art of the Yaka." African Arts 9, no. 1 (October 1975): 43.
  • "ÌMỌ̀ DÁRA." (Accessed May 10, 2020):

Portfolio List Click a portfolio name to view all the objects in that portfolio
This object is a member of the following portfolios:

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=BMC>cite web |url= |title=N'Koku Ngoombu (Slit-Drum) Hunting Charm |author=Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections |accessdate=3/22/2023 |publisher=Bryn Mawr College</ref>

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