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Classification: Sculpture

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Image of Slit Drum or Gong (Mukoku Ngoombu)

Yaka Peoples

Slit Drum or Gong (Mukoku Ngoombu)

20th century

Object Type: Sculpture
14 1/2 in. x 3 1/2 in. x 3 3/4 in. (36.83 cm x 8.89 cm x 9.53 cm)
Medium and Support: Wood and pigment
Accession Number: 2013.0017.0029

Credit Line: Gift of Dileep and Martha Mehta

Male and female Yaka diviners "ngaanga ngoombu" carried a "mukoku ngoombu," a narrow cylindrical slit-drum with a carved human head as a handle. A cord was often tied to the neck to attach a stick for striking the gong. Diviners used the gong to signal their arrival in a village, to provide rhythm for their chants, and as a container for preparing and serving medicines. It could also be used as a stool for the diviner. The versatile gong was the centerpiece of a complex Yaka system of ritual designed to determine causes for and solutions to sickness and misfortune.

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Location Latitude: Communication with the Spirit World, Longitude: 28

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