Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

bouksa (gourd container with lid)
  • Muhal Maalla Bagadi
    active: Sudan
  • bouksa (gourd container with lid), 1983–1984
  • Where object was made: Kurdufān (present-day Southern Kordofan), Sudan
  • gourd, leather, plant fiber, coiling
  • Object Height/Diameter: 33 x 28 cm
    Object Height/Diameter: 13 x 11 in
  • Museum purchase: KUEA Funds
  • Not on display
  • 2007.1135.a,b

This is a gourd with a coiled neck (2007.1135.a). It has leather strapping from the top to the bottom in a "V" shaped pattern. It attaches to twisted leather on the top and bottom. There is a coiled lid (2007.1135.b) that 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.