Scraped mouth bow (xizambi)

Possibly Tsonga people
19th century

Object Place: Mozambique


Length 57.8 cm, width 4 cm (Length 22 3/4 in., width 1 9/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Wood, gourd

On View

Musical Instrument Gallery (Gallery 103D)


Musical Instruments



Thin, slightly arched stave of wood with shallow notches along center section for 285 mm. Formerly strung with strip of leaf (now missing). Two small spherical fruit shells (gourds), each incised with four crosses and containing small rocks, are pierced by cylindrical stick of wood pointed at both ends and having short loop of string through hole near center. In ink on bow: BEIRA Portugese E. Africa.


Francis W. Galpin (1858-1945), Hatfield Regis, England; 1916, sold by Francis W. Galpin to William Lindsey (1858-1922), Boston, Massachusetts; 1916, gift of William Lindsey, in memory of his daughter, Leslie Lindsey Mason, to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 5, 1916)

Credit Line

Leslie Lindsey Mason Collection