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Angolan women displaying on their backs white circular ornaments which are exceedingly precious family heirlooms.

The girls with the plaited cane rings around their legs have just reached marriageable age.



Though the Angolan musical are usually exceedingly primitive, their tones are often sweet and pleasant.

This instrument, built by the grandfather of the man playing on it, is of a type practically unobtainable nowadays.

Angolan houses were built of mud and roofed with thatch; villages are enclosed by a palisade.


A guitar player



The Masai make a speciality of hunting lions.

Armed only with spears, they await the lion's charge with unflinching courage, secure in the belief that the king of beasts will always shrink from attacking a man who shows no fear.

The Masai who now live on a native reserve, become warriors at sixteen.



The Turkana, a nomadic people living west of Lake Rudolf on the borders of Kenya and Uganda, are said to be the tallest race on earth, their average height being seven feet.

Their normal headdress consists of the hair of their ancestors bound in their own with clay.

They are akin to the Masai.

A stylish Barotse bowl

Length 34cm height 19cm


Livingstone is a town of wood carvers. A few artisans worked in bone, horn, ivory or clay, but wood is naturally the great medium in Zambia, the land of forest. The carvers have come down from the north and settled here because of the tourist trade, so that now Livingstone is known to many tribesmen as “the carving town ". Of course the degrees of skill vary, but human statuettes and animals fashioned by the most gifted men are brilliant. Early missionaries discovered the art of the Barotse and started the demand, which now keeps hundreds of men occupied. The missionary Bertrand noted the remarkable skill of the Lozi tribe when he entered Barotseland at the end of the last century and he described the Zambesi people working decorations on wood and metal and carving in ivory. The Bambunda are v

ery clever at carving little figures of wood presenting men, women, animals and boats. The Bambalangwi, Balubale and Alunda carve long hair combs and sticks in a variety of interesting patterns. The average Murozi can carve himself a knobkerrie, axe and hoe handle, or the shaft of a spear, but their work is very plain though very neat and wonderfully regular. Chief Lewanika was a carver and Francois Coillard said that Lewanika could make anything from an ivory hairpin to a house.

Curio stores were doing a flourishing trade in Livingstone and at the Victoria Falls before World War 1. Miss Bonnie B. Keller, an American anthropologist who studied the Livingstone carver, found a shop in her home city San Francisco where these carvings were in steady demands. Finest of all timber for this purpose, say the carvers, is mubanga, once so plentiful in the Livingstone area that supplies could be brought in by a man on foot. Now it has been largely replaced by the soft white mungongo wood, still available round about Livingstone. Masks and drums, human figures and boats are made of mungongo. The most elaborate boat carvings have a number of paddlers and a white man or a chief under a canopy amidships. Barotse artisans forge their own tools and weapons and in the west they smelt the iron themselves.


Ref: "Full many a glorious morning" by Lawrence G. Green.

Provenance: Mrs. Anne Glaser's Collection

(collected in the late 1930's)

Ref no: 43


Anne Glazer in her homestead


A Songye “Janus” horn (fetish)

Length 66cm


The founders of the Songye emerged from the lake region in Shaba province to the south in the heart of the Luba homeland (Kasai- eastern part of the D.R.C).

The Lomani River divides Songye territory and marks the boundary of the areas invaded by the Luba.

Because of these geographic and political differences there emerged of two distinct social structures among the eastern and western Songye and two stylistic differences in art forms between the two areas.

The Songye are divided into about 35 subgroups.

The paramount chief (Yakitenge) and his advisers are the central power in territory. Many of the subgroups were actually quite large, were often spread over many miles, and were densely populated.

The Songye traditionally relied mostly on farming and hunting for subsistence.

Because the rivers were associated with the spirits of deceased chiefs who were often buried in them, fishing was therefore not practiced.

The current horn is a utilitarian object, which distinctive decorated Songye hallmarks, and belonged to an "nganga" and for this reason paraphernalia concerning the trade is rare and desirable.

Ref no: 49


An elegant Kuba skin drum

Height 115cm


The African drum is the most important musical instrument in the life of the village and in the life of the court.

Drums are a crucial element in the performance of important events, or deaths and for ritual dances.

Drums could be heard at great distances and were signals of an approaching event.

In the hands of an expert, these drums could be many things: a musical instrument, a ritual object, a vessel of energy, or the mouthpiece of spirits.

The two major groups of drums are the skin drum and the split drum and there is a great variety in sizes, shapes and carvings.

The importance which was given to the drums can be seen by the delicacy of the carvings, the form and the representation of faces.

This handsome drum with its finely curved body is in fact a sculpture as well as a work of art, and is a beautiful example of Kuba workmanship and the height enabled it to be played standing.

Provenance: acquired from Kuba king N'boeupe Mabiintsh III and is part from the Royal treasury.


Ref no: 117

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