Arch lute

This musical instrument was collected in Colombia before 1865. How it appeared there remains a mystery. It suggests the continuity of African musical traditions by enslaved people. Its form is typically West African. Musicological research suggests that this is a Mende arched harp (mbake) which originated from Sierra Leone.

(See Staub, J., 1936, Beitrage zur Kenntis der materiellen Kultur der Mendi in der Sierra Leone. Solothurn: Buchdruckerei Vogt-Schild A.G.)

Obtained by James Aunger, who donated it to RAMM in 1870.

Length = 843mm.

Object Summary

Accession Loan No.
E929
Category
Ethnography
Collection Class
Musical instruments
Collection Area Region
S
Material
woodanimal skinmetalfibre
Common Name
arch lute
Simple Name
harp
Production Town
Cartagena, Colombia
Production County
Cartagena
Production Country
Colombia
Production Year High
1865

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arched harp (mbake)