Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

lidded drinking gourd
  • unknown Maasai maker
  • lidded drinking gourd, mid 1900s
  • Where object was made: Kenya
  • gourd, leather, button, beading
  • Object Height/Diameter: 47 x 12 cm does not include strap
    Object Height/Diameter: 18 1/2 x 4 3/4 in does not include strap
  • Anonymous gift
  • Not on display
  • 2007.2759

The narrow end of the long, narrow gourd has been cut off to be used as a lid. There is a leather strap along the long axis of the gourd, with one end free. The leather is on the wide part of the gourd only and it is decorated with a white button, bordered wtih dark blue and orange beads. The vertical lines in red, yellow, dark blue and white define rectangles, and the horizontal lines of the same colors, with the addition of light green, in smaller beads complete the rectangles.

There is a narrow strip of leather diverging from the carrying strap that is attached to a wide band of leather around the rim of the lid, tethering it. The lid is decorated with a rectangle of orange beads and a second of dark blue. The leather has a beaded border in the same colors mentioned above.

There is a row of small stitches on one side of the wider portion of the gourd.