Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

  • unknown Chokwe maker
  • bellows, late 1800s–1908
  • Where object was made: Angola
  • wood, leather, cord, pigment, carving
  • Length/Width/Depth: 52 x 27 x 14 cm
    Length/Width/Depth: 20 1/2 x 10 5/8 x 5 1/2 in
  • Gift of Claude D. Brown
  • Not on display
  • 2007.3138
Label Text

The bellows are in the form of a stylized human figure. The handle is a human head. The pump air chambers are the breasts and the legs are the tubes to direct the air. The form is wooden, with the exception of the breasts, which are leather stretched over the wooden form, held in place with cord. Small sticks attach at the "nipples" to pump air. The piece has an overall orange tint.

It was used to pump air into kiln fires for smelting iron.