Northeastern Nigeria is a center of production for elaborately decorated gourds that are used as household storage containers and food and beverage bowls. The technique used on the exterior of this bowl is pressure engraving, a method used by the pastoral Fulbe that involves scraping a design into the surface with an iron needle, and then filling the incised areas with a mixture of butter and soot. The surface wear on this bowl indicates that it has been used, and it has been repaired locally with plastic stitching.
Hemispherical gourd bowl with a plain bottom, linear geometric designs on the sides, cold engraved and blackened with soot.
Mildred A. Morton, Falls Church, Virginia, collected Biu, Nigeria, 1973 to 2000
African Mosaic: Selections from the Permanent Collection, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., November 19, 2013-ongoing
African Mosaic: Celebrating a Decade of Collecting, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., November 19, 2010-November 13, 2013