Danielle explores Africa at the Penn Museum

Danielle explores Africa at the Penn Museum

Today I took another successful visit to the Penn Museum. This time I explored Africa! I entered the second floor and found different cases labeled Musical Instruments, Status, Household, Subsistence, Influence and Tradition. Each case held many amazing artifacts like a nail figure called the Nkisi N’kondi. I found out that this and many other nail figures were used to by the people of the Kongo. They used the nail figures to help them solve their problems. All of the nails represent an agreement or promise the people made while seeking help from the figure. Another artifact I stumbled upon was the Hemba Mask. In the Suku tribe they send their boys off to a camp for a period of seclusion between the ages of ten and fifteen to learn life skills. At the end of the camp the Hemba Mask is worn to show important images of the deceased. Unfortunately the masks can show harm but also bring successful hunting. On the musical end they had quite a few drums. The Mbejn footed drum is a cone-shaped drum played along side with another drum called the ngkul, which is a slit drum. The Mbejn contains a few Fang drawings and accompanies the Fang dancers. The last artifact I checked out was the Babber Riga which is a robe. The robe was a robe typically worn by the ruling class and wealthy merchants of the Hausa. It is made of cotton which was dyed an indigo color and silk embroidery. The more decorations and the more cloth showed your status.