Folk musical instrument


Maker unknown. undetermined city, USA.

This object has been given considerable scrutiny and analysis because of its attribution during the 1990s to African traditions. Studies have been inconclusive; while the sun design carved on the body may have African origins, the polygonal shape, wood top (instead of a skin), and carved head lie outside the traditions of those instrument designs and technologies brought by people from the African continent who had been kidnapped, enslaved and trafficked across the Atlantic. An appraisal dates the instrument to the early to mid-19th century, but this instrument continues to warrant further study.

Date Made: 1835 - 1865

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States

Subject: MusicAfrican American


See more items in: Culture and the Arts: Musical Instruments, Music & Musical Instruments, Cultures & Communities


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Gift of Robert S. Jamieson

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 1990.0164.01Accession Number: 1990.0164Catalog Number: 1990.0164.01

Object Name: folk instrument

Physical Description: wood (part material)metal (part material)Measurements: overall: 31 in x 10 in x 3 1/2 in; 78.74 cm x 25.4 cm x 8.89 cm


Record Id: nmah_606749

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