Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

carved drinking horn
  • Bamum peoples
  • carved drinking horn, late 1800s–1940
  • Where object was made: Cameroon
  • buffalo horn, carving
  • Object Length/Width/Depth: 41 x 12 x 13 cm
    Object Length/Width/Depth: 16 1/8 x 4 3/4 x 5 1/8 in
  • Gift of Larry W. Welling
  • Not on display
  • 2007.0274
Label Text

The buffalo horn is decorated on the entirety of its surface with a humanoid face at the tip. The figure at the tip wears a pointed hat with a loop at the tip. His chin and cheeks are very prominent and his eyes are difficult to distinguish. The area of horn that would be the figure's neck has a series of thin bands and there is a field of diamond or leaf shapes. The remainder of the horn (with the exception of the proximal edge) is divided into small squares or rectangles, each with a design in relief. These include a person, spider, cow head, elephant, four-legged animal with cross hatched back (possibly lizards or frogs), double headed snake, and a series of three "U" shapes (double gongs). There are two larger lizards at the edge.

It was intended to be used by a person of high rank, possibly only a king.