Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

buffalo hide dance whisk
  • unknown Ndebele maker
  • buffalo hide dance whisk, late 1800s–1908
  • Where object was made: Union of South Africa (present-day South Africa)
  • buffalo hide
  • Object Length/Width: 53 x 8 cm
    Object Length/Width: 20 7/8 x 3 1/8 in
  • Gift of Claude D. Brown
  • Not on display
  • 2007.0262

This buffalo tail is split lengthwise and left mostly flat. Shorter hair is largely absent the closer one gets to the proximal end and there is a dark tuft of long hair at the distal end. One hole at the proximal end is distorted, indicating it was probably made when the hide was still malleable. Two small round holes were clearly drilled when it was dry.

It was intended to be used in dances.