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This information was automatically generated from data provided by MOA: University of British Columbia. It has been standardized to aid in finding and grouping information within the RRN. Accuracy and meaning should be verified from the Data Source tab.

Description

Large tightly coiled container (part a 28 x 20.7) that has a bulbous shape narrowing at the top and the bottom. Base is rounded, and mouth rim is tightly wrapped. Container is coiled in sixteen sections vertically placed. Cowrie shells are knotted on around the centre and vertically placed. Lid (part b) has two rows of cowrie shells, vertically placed. Top of the lid caves in. Lid fits on well.

History Of Use

Probably a 'gorfa' type container which would normally be encased in a 'seephani' holder consisting of leather straps. The straps would be used to secure the lid and to suspend the container. Normally used to hold fresh or curdled milk.
Cowrie shells are a sign of wealth and a symbol of fertility to many people of Kenya. The inside of most vessels are charred black because the sterilizing process involves burning embers of special tree, usually resulting in smoky tasting contents. The charred inside also acts as a seal to make it water tight.
Borana men and women make containers, men make wooden ones and married women make woven ones. Called 'xoda' if it has a recessed lid, 'chicho' if convex.

Cultural Context

storage

Item History

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