The Lozi have a tradition of giving bowls as gifts to non-Lozi peoples. The majority of the bowls in Western collections appear to never have been used, but that does not mean in the Lozi context that they are inauthentic. In 1905, the Lozi king, himself a carver, created a curio shop at Victoria Falls to sell to tourists. This expanded market may have led to an increase in figurative lids, many of which feature water birds. The choice of a leopard and the contrasting colors of this piece are distinctive.
Oval, lidded bowl in wood with figure of leopard on the lid. Bowl and lid are dark brown and the leopard is yellow.
Royal Arcade Gallery, London, -- to 1972
Warren Robbins, Washington, D.C., 1972
Artful Animals, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., July 1, 2009-July 25, 2010
Celebration: A World of Art and Ritual, Renwick Gallery, Washington D.C., March 17, 1982-July 10, 1983
Smithsonian Institution. Office of Folklife Programs and Renwick Gallery of the National Museum of American Art. 1982. Celebration: A World of Art and Ritual. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, p.89, no. 90.