This is an elaborately carved example of a transverse horn. The skillful relief carving on this instrument is complex and very rare. These types of horns, with either painted or carved designs were closely associated with head-hunting and war. They were played after raids when the warriors returned to the village. The number of times the horn was sounded corresponded to the number of heads taken in the raids. (Grueb 1985: 50 page 186.)
Similar examples are found in the collection of the Ethnologisches Museum Berlin-Dahlem. See illustrations in Kelm 1966a: figs 175-187 and Reche 1913: 430-432.
Tribalhunter, London 2008