Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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bouksa (gourd container with lid)
  • Um Basheer Bakheit Habib
  • bouksa (gourd container with lid), 1983–1984
  • Where object was made: near Kadugli, Kurdufān (present-day Southern Kordofan), Sudan
  • gourd, plant fiber, leather, coiling
  • Object Height/Diameter: 43 x 36 cm
    Object Height/Diameter: 16 7/8 x 14 1/8 in
  • Museum purchase: KUEA Funds
  • Not on display
  • 2007.1137.a,b

This is a gourd with a coiled neck (2007.1137.a). Loops of rope around top and bottom allow the rope to be stretched over the body of the gourd. A rope handle is atttached. The coiled lid (2007.1137.b) sits into the neck.

It was used to store milk. 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 would have been used as a churn because they were more difficult to carry to the market.