Product images of Loango Tusk
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This carved elephant tusk was produced on the Loango coast, between Cape Lopez and the Zaire River in West Africa. Loango carvers probably made it in the late 19th century for sale to European buyers. Depending on the size, the carving of a single tusk could take between two and sixteen months. Using iron tools it has been carved spirally with scenes of West African life. The tusk depicts the arrival of Europeans and the enslavement of Africans, who are shown being taken to the coast to be sold to slave traders. Other scenes show a European delegation, a band of African musicians, and a man carrying an umbrella, which was a status object associated with trade with Europeans. Still more scenes show representations of animals, such as the one with two men drinking with a dog at their table. Animals like dogs and lizards are particularly linked to the supernatural in Kongo religion and represent the spiritual elements of life on the Loango coast.
- Image reference: E9109
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Michael Graham-Stewart Slavery Collection. Acquired with the assistance of the Heritage Lottery Fund