Voice disguiser, tube made from the leg bone of a ram, open at one end (the mouthpiece) and closed with spider's membrane at the other [ZM 7/10/2015]
Place details: AFRICA. Nigeria / Southern Nigeria Cross River region [Ogoja province] Mudu. Cultural Group: Boki Local Name: Unknown. Materials: Sheep Bone Animal / Spider Membrane / ?. Processes: Covered / ?. Dimensions: Max L = 55 mm Field Collector: Percy Amaury Talbot ? When Collected: By 1931 Other Owners: Percy Amaury Talbot PRM Source: Percy Amaury Talbot, ?per Henry Balfour Acquired: Donated 1931 ?Bequeathed 1939 Other Numbers: Balfour 444
KEYWORD: Musical Instrument / Voice Disguiser / CLASS: Music / Religion / Ceremonial / ?.MUSIC CLASS: 2. MUSIC NAME: Voice disguiser.
Publications history, trails & websites: Illustrated in a black and white sketch Fig.7 on page 48 of 'Ritual and Secular Uses of Vibrating Membranes as Voice-Disguisers', by Henry Balfour, in The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol. 78, No. 1/2 (1948), pp. 45-69 with Plates I and II. This illustration is described on page 69 as: 'Fig. 7. - Voice-disguisers of ram's leg bone; spider's egg-case membrane. Lengths (a) 5.6 cm., (b) 3.7 cm. Northern Boki tribe, S. Nigeria. (444, 443)'. The accession numbers of the objects are not included in the publication. On page 48 Balfour refers to these in the text as follows: 'Two short, tubular "voice-disguisers" of bone were sent to me by Mr. P. Amaury Talbot, who obtained them from the Northern Boki tribe (Abanliki clan), of the Mudu district, Ogoja Province. One of these (Fig. 7(a) is a simple tube made from the leg bone of a ram, open at one end (the mouthpiece) and closed with spider's membrane at the other. The second example (Fig. 7(b) is shorter and of much stouter bone, but is otherwise similar. These were used for simulating spirit voices in the mysteries of the Ikhan secret society.' [ZM 7/10/2015]