Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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medicine gourd
  • Africa
  • medicine gourd, 1925–1990
  • Where object was made: Africa
  • gourd, wood, beads, plant fiber, braiding
  • Object Height/Width: 21.59 x 10.16 cm
    Object Height/Width: 8 1/2 x 4 in
  • Anonymous gift
  • Not on display
  • PG2008.031

Small hollowed out, dried gourd that has a bulbous bottom, a narrowing at the center, then rounded again above that, with a small opening at the top. The stopper of the bottle is wood carved in the shape of a human head with small ears on the side, a very long thin nose, and two small white beads set into the face for eyes. Tied around the center of the gourd is a cord made from braided plant fiber. The surface of the bottle is covered in a dark, oily substance, possibly palm oil.