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Henna gourd
Date: Late 20th century
Medium: Gourd
Dimensions: H x W x D: 36.2 x 11.2 x 10.8 cm (14 1/4 x 4 7/16 x 4 1/4 in.)
Credit Line: Gift of Mildred A. Morton
Geography: Kano, Nigeria
Object Number: 2000-29-33
Search Terms:
Household
Exhibited: African Mosaic: Selections from the Permanent Collection

Both Fulbe and Hausa women use henna paste to decorate their hands with geometric designs. After the designs have been applied, a woman inserts her hand into a tubular gourd such as this to protect it until the dye stains her skin. The burned patterns that have been pyroengraved onto the gourd echo the geometric designs that will soon adorn her body.

Elongated tubular gourd with pyroengraved linear geometric decoration.

Mildred A. Morton, Falls Church, Virginia, collected Kano, 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


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