Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

wooden bowl
  • Ndebele peoples
  • wooden bowl, late 1800s–1996
  • Where object was made: Zimbabwe
  • wood, carving
  • Object Height/Diameter: 8.5 x 25 cm
    Object Height/Diameter: 3 3/8 x 9 13/16 in
  • Gift of Sue Schuessler
  • Not on display
  • 2007.0783

This wooden bowl with a flat bottom is undecorated.

This bowl is used during ngoma rituals. When a gogo spirit comes, the medium (spirit) sits on the floor and a healer or, more often, a person in training to become a healer brings a bowl of water to the spirit. For some gogo spirits snuff is mixed in water. Some gogo spirits drink water and snuff, putting the mouth down to the bowl while some bring the bowl up to the mouth. Some take water into the mouth and then spray the water out to each side.