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Image of N'koko Ngoombu (Diviner's Slit Gong)

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unknown Yaka
Yaka Primary

N'koko Ngoombu (Diviner's Slit Gong)

Late19th century - Mid 20th century
Carved wood with patina

18 11/16 in. x 14 in. x 4 1/8 in. (47.5 cm x 35.5 cm x 10.5 cm)
Gift of Mace Neufeld and Helen Katz Neufeld, Class of 1953

Bryn Mawr College
Accession Number: 99.3.117
Other Number(s): 97 (218) (Neufeld Collection Number)
218 (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
Slit gongs, such as this one from the Democratic Republic of Congo, are viewed as "minkisi," spiritual items used for divination and healing purposes. This sacred instrument was used to accompany funerary processions and played as a way to communicate between the realm of the living and the world of the spirits. Gongs and other instruments were often given a power by being filled with items made for healing or by having medicinal packets attached.

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<ref name=BMC>cite web |url= |title=N'koko Ngoombu (Diviner's Slit Gong) |author=Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections |accessdate=9/23/2021 |publisher=Bryn Mawr College</ref>

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