Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

bouksa (gourd container with lid)
  • Hawa Jima El Basha
  • bouksa (gourd container with lid), 1983–1984
  • Where object was made: Kurdufān (present-day Southern Kordofan), Sudan
  • gourd, plant fiber, leather, coiling
  • Object Height/Diameter: 41 x 40 cm
    Object Height/Diameter: 16 1/8 x 15 3/4 in
  • Museum purchase: KUEA Funds
  • Not on display
  • 2007.1136.a,b

This is a large gourd with a coiled basketry neck (2007.1136.a). Rope is looped around the gourd in a net-like fashion. The coiled basketry lid (2007.1136.b) sits into the neck.

It was used as a butter churn. The enzymes from the fermented milk will remain inside the container, so when new milk is added, they act as a starter for the fermentation process. The darker orange color comes from the milk reacting with the surface of the gourd. The larger ones were used as churns because they were more difficult to carry to the market to sell.