Africa Direct
Africa Direct

Tutsi Ceremonial Calabash Rwanda African Art

AvailabilityIn stock
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More Information
Type of Object Container
Country of Origin Rwanda
People Tutsi
Materials Gourd
Approximate Age 20th century
Height (in) 16.5
Width (in) 9
Depth (in) 8.5
Dimensions --
Overall Condition Good. Most of our pieces have spent decades on at least two continents, and have been treasured by several owners.   Small splits, scrapes and cracks are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use.  We examine each piece carefully when we receive it and report any damage we find in our listings.  Please look carefully at the pictures which may also reveal condition and damage.
Damage/Repair Some general wear, see photos for details.

Additional Information: 

This calabash is also called the bottle gourd, and in addition to other names it is also the oldest known cultivated plant. Although technically a vegetable, it can be used to trace human migration because it has been carried to just about every part of the world by people using it like a bottle. This piece was crafted by the Tutsi people of Rwanda. More a social class than a tribal group, the Tutsi have been called an aristocracy composed of landowners, military leaders, chiefs and priests. Being Tutsi means you’re at the top of the social heap with all the fitting accouterments, including decorated gourds meant to hold palm wine. You can appreciate this piece by thinking Chateau Mouton-Rothschild 1945 with the emphasis on the bottle rather than the wine. Like its western counterpart, it had a reputation and real as well as symbolic value.