Thumbnail of Ngoni (2005.01.0059)

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Basic Information

Artifact Identification Ngoni   (2005.01.0059)
  1. Communication T&E
  2. :
  3. Musical T&E
  4. :
  5. Musical Instruments
Artist/Maker None
Geographic Location
Period/Date N/A
Culture Mandingo

Physical Analysis

Dimension 1 (Length) 71.3 cm
Dimension 2 (Width) 9.4 cm
Dimension 3 (Depth) 6.7 cm
Weight 1137 g
Measuring Remarks 27 3/4 L x 4 W, donor’s measurements in inches
Materials Animal--Skin--without Fur/Feathers/Scales, Plant--Wood
Manufacturing Processes Carved, Tanning, Hollowing
Munsell Color Information N/A

Research Remarks

Published Description

Facebook 110 - FO - Ngoni Artifact of the Month: Artifact of the Month 2005.01.0059 West African Ngoni The ngoni is a lute instrument from West Africa and is part of the Mandinka culture. People who identify with this culture are also known as Mandingo, and they live throughout Africa, claiming their origins with the Mali Empire. The body of the ngoni is made from a long, thin, hollow piece of wood with leather stretched on it, resembling a drum. The long, straight neck is inserted into the body but, unlike the kora, another West African stringed instrument, does not quite extend the length of the body. The strings are made of fishing line stretched just past a small opening in the face to a bridge at the base of the body. The strings are held in place by thin leather strips, which can be moved up and down the neck to change the tuning. Like the tuning, the number of strings and size of the instrument can vary greatly. When plucked, the ngoni makes a deep, resonating sound, and it is used for quick-paced melodies. The ngoni is said to be the African ancestor of the modern-day banjo: both are played by plucking, and the shape of their bodies are similar to drums. West African storytellers called griots have used this instrument to accompany to their stories since the 12th century. Donzo ngoni is a special type of instrument played only by men and used in hunting rituals and ceremony. Contemporary musicians perform and record a wide range of music on the instrument in solo, duet, and ensemble settings. Facebook Post, 115 Featured Objects, 2005.01 anonymous: Featured Objects: Anonymous Donation of Western and Central African artifacts Originating in the western and central regions of Africa, this group of over 70 artifacts includes stools, wooden bowls, musical instruments, coil currency, beer pots, honey pots, and cache sexe (beaded aprons for young girls), as well as many other items. These objects, given by an anonymous donor in 2005, and representing many culture groups in Africa, support the Museum’s mission by helping interpret the diversity of cultures across the globe. 2005.01.0010 – Seed Pod Dance Rattle 2005.01.0011 – Coil Currency from Nigeria 2005.01.0015 – Stool from Tanzania 2005.01.0021 – Cache Sexe from the Kirdi peoples 2005.01.0030 – Wooden Bowl from the Tuareg peoples 2005.01.0041 – Chief’s Honey Pot

Description N/A
Comparanda N/A
Bibliography N/A

Artifact History

Archaeological Data N/A
Credit Line/Dedication Anonymous
Reproduction No
Reproduction Information N/A

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