Kikubyu Gourd Maasai Beaded Milk Jug


This is beautiful Burnished and Beaded Gourd is from the Masai Pastoral People of Kenya. This gourd is used to collect milk and blood. Maasai blood/milk jugs are made from calabashes or gourds which are picked from vines. The Maasai clean the insides of the gourds as well as decorate them with leather and beads. Milk, blood, water, honey and cornmeal are stored inside the gourds. Traditionally, the Maasai rely on meat, milk and blood from cattle for protein and caloric needs. The Maasai drank milk from the cow or goat every day and when they didn't have enough milk, they mixed cow's blood with the milk. People now drink blood only on special occasions including at a person’s circumcision or after a woman has given birth. The sick are also given blood. The Maasai believe blood is very rich in protein and is good for the immune system. This gourd is decorated with beautiful beading on the front and back on the leather strips even with a mother of pearl button. The lid has beading around it as well. This is a fabulous Masaai beaded and decorated gourd that would compliment your collection or home. 25" H, 1.5 lbs.
Shows some age, leather handle is torn and shows some discoloration, but overall in good condition. Beautiful patina from use on the savannah of Africa.