What the Manjaco bell tells us
In Western Africa, Manjaco women and men of various ages and in various contexts play an iron "bell". Young girls and women after menopause play dance music whereas certain men play during ceremonies for communicating with spirits and the sacred earth. This contrast between instrumentalists and the contexts for playing reflects a deeper one between the "freshness" of fertile women and the heat of men, in particular of the men qualified for performing rites involving blood (for example, killing an animal). The Manjaco bell's function in the ceremonial sphere suggests that kingship is a rather recent institution there and that the Manjaco are related to peoples (such as the Kissi) located farther to the south, where bells have an equivalent function.
Bell, Manjaco, Royalty (Africa), Rritual
Buckner, Margaret. "What the Manjaco Bell Tells Us.." L'Homme 3 (2004): 219-230.