Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

lidded drinking gourd
  • unknown Maasai maker
  • lidded drinking gourd, early 1900s–1968
  • Where object was made: Kenya
  • gourd, leather, cowrie shells, plant fiber, beading
  • Object Height/Diameter: 76.5 x 13 cm height includes handle
    Object Height/Diameter: 26 9/16 x 5 1/8 in height includes handle
  • Gift of Karen Sueetta Joyce
  • Not on display
  • 2007.2904
Label Text

The long, skinny gourd, has the narrow end removed to act as a lid. A narrow leather strip runs lengthwise down the gourd, attached at the large end, but free at the narrow end to act as a strap. There is a cowrie shell at the points of attachment. A narrow leather strip is sewn to the strap with plant fiber to tether the lid. The lid is the end of the gourd, with a relatively wide leather band, decorated with white beads at the one edge and red and medium blue beads at the other edge,

It was used to hold a yogurt-like food.