Northeast Congo Kusu Ivory Ceremonial Parade Baton
Northeast Congo Kusu Ivory Ceremonial Parade Baton
Northeast Congo Kusu Ivory Ceremonial Parade Baton
Northeast Congo Kusu Ivory Ceremonial Parade Baton
Northeast Congo Kusu Ivory Ceremonial Parade Baton

Northeast Congo Kusu Ivory Ceremonial Parade Baton

1800 to 1900 Republic of the Congo

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An African Northeast Congo Kusu Ivory Ceremonial Parade Baton Inscribed ‘Ivory Parade Sword Upper Congo Wbstr. Oct 1, 1898’ with Pitt Rivers Inventory Number ‘5757’
19th Century

Size: 38cm long – 15 ins long
Provenance: W.D. Webster (1868 – 1913) Dealer in Ethnographica
Purchased by General Augustus Henry Lane Fox Pitt Rivers, 1898 from
W.D. Webster
Pitt Rivers, Farnham, Museum inventory No. 5757
Ex English Private collection
cf: ‘White Gold Black Hands Ivory Sculpture in the Congo’ Volume 4, edited Marc L. Felix; 2012, pg; 140, a very similar example collected in the Upper Congo from the Bakusu in 1901 by Captain G. Burrows, on the Upper Lomami River
European Christian missionaries followed in the wake of the explorers who first started probing the interior heart of Africa around the turn of the 19th century. Until this period little was known of the internal affairs of the Congo region. The Congo peoples were first contacted at the mouth of the Congo River in the late 15th century and developed a steady trade in slaves and ivory with the Portuguese, but there was no European penetration into the interior until the mid-19th century, it remained ‘darkest Africa’. Livingston, Stanley and their followers, missionaries and adventurers, explored the area and sculptures and artefacts began to be collected from these new found peoples after about 1880. This ceremonial ivory baton or ‘parade sword’ was probably collected in the field during this period.
Medium
Ivory
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