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Object Name: Gong mallet
Culture: Baule peoples
Place of Origin: Ivory Coast
Dimensions: Mallet: 27 cm (10.6 in)
Materials Used: Wood, fiber, iron
Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Museum purchase.
Bells or gongs such as this one are used by both male and female diviners, who, according to Susan Vogel, “are conditioned to go into the trance state when they hear the steady striking of an iron gong. They enter a trance in private, but they carry the gong and mallet in performance to use if they start to lose the trance during the session, or wish to deepen the trance” (1997, 229). The mallet end is an image of pne of the men’s sacred helmet masks collectively called “bo nun amuin” (god in the bush); see Vogel 1997, 205-14.
Source: DjeDje, J. C. (1999). “Turn Up the Volume! A Celebration of African Music”, Los Angeles: UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History. page 278