Arched harp (kundi)

Mangbetu people
late 19th century

Object Place: Democratic Republic of the Congo


Length 57 cm, width 14.5 cm (Length 22 7/16 in., 5 11/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Wood, cowhide

On View

Musical Instrument Gallery (Gallery 103D)


Africa and Oceania, Musical Instruments



Waisted boat-shaped body of wood wrapped with animal skin, held in place by single line of leather stitching along back. Two circular soundholes at opposite corners of sound table. Arched neck of wood terminating in carved elongated head of man with eyes made from white seed beads. Five strings of gut attached to lateral tuning pegs of wood (one later addition) and tied to strip of wood running beneath sound table. Painted in white at base of neck: FX93365


Before 1994, part of "an old colonial collection." By 1994, Marc Leo Felix, Brussels; 1994, sold by Felix to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 22, 1994)

Credit Line

Helen and Alice Colburn Fund and William E. Nickerson Fund