Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

kukuma (one-stringed lute) with bow and bridge
  • unknown Hausa-Fulani maker
  • kukuma (one-stringed lute) with bow and bridge, 1979
  • Where object was made: Nigeria
  • gourd, lizard skin, leather, yarn, hair, wood, metal, dyeing, carving
  • Object Length/Width/Depth: a) 40 x 17.5 x 10 cm
    Object Height/Width/Depth: a) 15 3/4 x 6 7/8 x 3 15/16 in
    Object Length/Width/Depth: b) 30 x 8.5 x 2 cm
    Object Length/Width/Depth: b) 11 13/16 x 3 3/8 x 13/16 in
    Object Length/Width/Depth: c) 5 x 5 x 1.5 cm
    Object Length/Width/Depth: c) 1 15/16 x 1 15/16 x 9/16 in
  • Gift of Professor Beverly Mack
  • Not on display
  • C2011.031.a,b,c

Part a) is a stringed instrument with a dried gourd for the body covered in gray lizard skin with a hole cut into it on the facing left side. The neck is carved from wood and wrapped in orange, green and blue yarn. The strings are made from black animal hair and attached to the body and to the head with dyed red leather strips. Around the edge of the body is a wide strip of red leather attached with metal nails and a thick band of short yarn strings in orange, green and blue.
Part b) is a bow made from a piece of wood and wrapped in green, orange and blue yarn and with dark animal hair strings.
Part c) is a small bridge for holding up the strings on the body. It is a v-shaped piece made of two small pieces of wood wrapped together at the end and the whole piece is covered with green and yellow yarn. There is a long loop of orange and green yarn at one end