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Unknown Maker
Drinking Horn Drinking Horn
19th-20th century 19th-20th century

Elaborately carved drinking vessels function as status symbols in many Grasslands kingdoms. Depending on one¿s position in the social and political hierarchy, certain materials and motifs are combined to communicate messages about power, relationships and leadership abilities. Highly carved, well-polished black buffalo horns are reserved for those with the utmost authority, while cow horns, wood, gourds and other materials, with descending degrees of decoration, are possessed by those with less social clout.

The drinking horns in the Lang collection incorporate a range of symbolic motifs that indicate they were the property of high-ranking individuals. For example, the cast brass figure secured to the tip of the vessel on the left wears a richly patterned headdress that is a potent symbol of royal power. The other horn includes abstracted images of spiders and frogs, which reference judiciousness and wisdom, and fertility and abundance, respectively.

 
Unknown Maker
Cameroon Grassfields peoples Cameroon Grassfields peoples
Drinking Horn Drinking Horn
19th-20th century 19th-20th century
horn, brass horn, brass
height / width / depth: 11.50 x 24.00 x 7.00 cm; 4.53 x 9.45 x 2.76 in.
Gift of Justin and Elisabeth Lang, 1984 Gift of Justin and Elisabeth Lang, 1984
M84-344

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