African art > Tam-Tam, Djembe, musical instruments > Lamellophone Chokwe
Lamellophone Chokwe (N° 19688)
Ex-collection African art from Belgium.Very common in Central Africa, and particularly popular among the Chokwe, this musical instrument, named sanza or likende, depending on the region, consists of a soundboard in the form of a rectangular board. Ten metal tongues have been attached to it in parallel. The thumbs of the two hands will rest on the soundboard to make the front ends of the tongues vibrate. Many instruments of this type called muyemba are incomplete because they have been stripped of the accompanying calabash that formed the sounding board (p.18 of "Instruments de musique" Jos Gansemans. ed. Collections du MRAC).
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Lustrous brown patina, abrasions.
The Tschokwe, of Bantu culture, settled in eastern Angola, but also in Congo and Zambia. Following various alliances, they mixed with the Lunda who taught them to hunt. Their social organization also influenced the Tschokwe society. The Tschokwe eventually dominated the Lunda, whose kingdom was dismantled at the end of the 19th century.
Elephants in the region were hunted for meat, but also for ivory, which was intended for sale, not for the wide range of prestige items for which they excelled. The Tschokwe were also heavily involved in the slave trade, selling criminals and prisoners. Colonization later contributed to their migration to Congo-Kinshasa and Zambia.