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HOME : African & Tribal Art : African Musical Instruments : Masai Ivory Trumphet
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Masai Ivory Trumphet - PF.3909
Origin: Kenya
Circa: 19 th Century AD to 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 18.5" (47.0cm) high x 2.375" (6.0cm) wide
Collection: African
Medium: Ivory

Location: United States
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One of the most beautiful and enriching creations of the human spirit and genius is the invention of musical instruments. Over the centuries they have developed world wide in the most astonishing array; from the complex clarinet with its many stops to the simple pan pipes of ancient Greece. Through these limitless variety of instruments we can express ourselves intellectually through musical language, touch the heart and caress the soul. One of the great marvels of instruments is their ability to express a wide range of emotions from an object so elemental as this very elegant trumpet. Its range of use is amazing. When a great Masai chief was to make his entrance the horns would blow, filling the air with a haunting melody full of the richness of pageantry. At ceremonies and weddings they heralded the bride and groom, letting the whole village know a couple is beginning a new life together. This horn, though structurally simple, is in fact very difficult to perform on, and needs not only much training, but powerful lungs. An instrument such as this has great volume, and can be heard from far away; which is why they were used by messengers to announce the approach of an enemy. To hold this horn is to recall the many fanfares, celebrations, announcements which marked significant moments in a people's history- held as if by some force of magic in its graceful and sleek body. - (PF.3909)


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