Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

bouksa (gourd container with lid)
  • unknown Hawazma maker
  • bouksa (gourd container with lid), 1984
  • Where object was made: Kurdufān (present-day Southern Kordofan), Sudan
  • gourd, plant fiber, leather, coiling, weaving
  • Object Height/Diameter: 24 x 19 cm
    Object Height/Diameter: 9 7/16 x 7 1/2 in
  • Museum purchase: KUEA Funds
  • Not on display
  • 2007.1403.a,b

The gourd container (2007.1403.a) has a neck of coiled plant fiber. The neck has leather whipstitching around the rim. A band of twisted leather at the top of the body and a leather wrapped ring at the bottom serve as attachements for woven straps of leather spanning the body in a zigzagged pattern. The center of the lid is a piece of gourd and the sides are coiled plant fiber with leather whipstitching at the rim. The lid (2007.1403.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.