Borana Milk Gourd
Borana Milk Gourd
Borana people, mid. to late 20th century, Ethiopia or Kenya.
Beautiful small-sized Borana milk gourd, of spherical form, partially leather covered with applied leather strap. Top cap are finely woven vegetal fibre. Milk and butter containers are vital objects in a culture where raising cattle is of central importance. They were treasured, mended when broken, and used for years.
The Borana, Gabbra and Sakuye are a subethnic groups within the Oromo people group. The Borana people live in southern Oromia' Borena Zone of Ethiopia and northern Kenya, and are semi-nomadic pastoralists, while the Gabbra and Sakuye are specialized in camel-keeping. The Borana people are notable for their historic political Gadaa system. The Gadaa (means literally "era") is the indigenous democratic system of governance. The system regulates political, economic, social and religious activities of the community. The Borana society is build around the maintenance of cattle, which are their prime source of sustenance. Many Borana folktales and songs illustrate their affection for cattle, and the possession of large herds is considered a sign of one's economic status. Legal fines, bride-prices, and religious sacrifices are all paid in the form of cattle.
Gorgeous old milk gourd are in good condition. Age-related wear and signs of use. Size approx. 11,5cm x 11,2cm x 11,0cm.
Provenance: private collection from Finland.
References and further reading:
Borana, Encyclopedia of Africa, Kwame Anthony Appiah & Henry Louis Gates (Jr.), Oxford University Press, 2010.
Borana people, 101 Last tribes. (https://www.101lasttribes.com/tribes/borana.html)
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