African Central Zaire Elephant Ivory Ceremonial Side Blown Trumpet
African Central Zaire Elephant Ivory Ceremonial Side Blown Trumpet
African Central Zaire Elephant Ivory Ceremonial Side Blown Trumpet
African Central Zaire Elephant Ivory Ceremonial Side Blown Trumpet
African Central Zaire Elephant Ivory Ceremonial Side Blown Trumpet
African Central Zaire Elephant Ivory Ceremonial Side Blown Trumpet
African Central Zaire Elephant Ivory Ceremonial Side Blown Trumpet

African Central Zaire Elephant Ivory Ceremonial Side Blown Trumpet

1700 to 1900 Africa

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An Ancient African Central Zaire Elephant Ivory Ceremonial Side Blown Trumpet ‘Oliphant’
Aged dark honey coloured dimpled surface
18th – early 19th Century

Size: approx: 80cm high – 31½ ins high
Provenance: Ex Belgian collection
See: catalogue no. 3, item no. 100, for another ancient ivory ‘oliphant’
African ivory side blown trumpets once served the prerogatives of leadership, they were prized regalia and often used for visual effect. The sound produced by these oliphant’s is remarkably similar to the actual trumpeting of an elephant. By opening and closing the tone hole the trumpet blower can replicate the sounds of his language so that the effect is of having the praises of the chief sung through the ‘voice’ of the elephant in an instrument made from the animal; the ultimate form of accolade.
Praise singing is only one of many functions that oliphant’s perform in West and Central Africa. They accompany court dances, funerals, weddings, investiture ceremonies, royal circumcisions, welcome diplomatic envoys, announce wrestling matches and even give directions to people lost in the forest.

Medium
Ivory
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