Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

boajawa and mdo (mortar and pestle)
  • Maranao peoples
  • boajawa and mdo (mortar and pestle), mid 1900s–1958
  • Where object was made: Lanao del Sur, Philippines
  • brass, copper, metal, inlay
  • Object Height/Width/Length: a 49.5 x 20 x 57 cm
    Object Height/Width/Length: a 19 1/2 x 7 7/8 x 22 7/16 in
    Object Length/Diameter: b 32.5 x 6.5 cm
    Object Length/Diameter: b 12 3/4 x 2 1/2 in
  • Gift of Charles K. Warriner
  • Not on display
  • 2007.3045.a,b

The brass mortar (2007.3045.a) has a short spout and an elaborately carved fin-like projection. The bowl of the mortar is decorated with a band of curlicue with silvertone coins, a design identified as the growing vine or okir motif. Silvertone metal and copper fill the spaces between the brass design. There is a band of triangles edging the curlicues, and another band of curlicue where the bowl constricts. The foot is decorated with a band of curlicues in the same style with triangles above and below. The spout is decorated with vertical panels of curlicues in the same style. There are triangular extensions of the bowl wall to the spout, which are similarly decorated, each with a coin. There are curlicue cutouts, each with one coin, behind the wall extension. There is a large fin-like extension opposite the spout, made from a sheet of brass. The floral or curlicue design is cut out. There is a bird, identified as Sarimanok, at the top point and bottom point.

The cylindrical wooden pestle (2007.3045.b) is slightly contricted in the middle and has a green tint.