Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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ceremonial whisk
  • Ndebele peoples
  • ceremonial whisk, late 1800s–1996
  • Where object was made: Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
  • wood, cow? hair, string
  • Object Length/Width: approximately 35.5 x 17 cm
    Object Length/Width: approximately 14 x 6 11/16 in
  • Gift of Sue Schuessler
  • Not on display
  • 2007.0264

This cylindrical wooden handle has four grooves near the dark hair tassel. The wood extends into the tassel, which is doubled over into a hook shape and held on with string.

It was intended to be used by the medium in Ngoma ceremonies who shakes it by her ear to help her know more about the patient. It was also used during cleansing to get rid of evil spirits or contamination attributed to witchcraft.