This Old Etched Burnished Milk Gourd with Yellow Beads comes from the Pokot tribal people of Kenya. Most Pokot art is associated with body ornamentation, including bead work and intricate coiffures and wigs that are worn by young men to signal their membership in a given age-grade. Other forms of art are richly burnished gourds which are milk containers used by women for storage. The Pokot have a very unusual dairy product that has been produced by village communities for generations. This product is a yogurt made of cow’s or goat’s milk, mixed with the ashes of the native cromwo tree. It is still prepared today by fermenting the milk inside dried hollow gourds, then adding the ash to give it an aromatic flavor and its unusual light grey color, and is often eaten together with a thick millet porridge. The Pokot people use gourds to store their milk from goats and cattle. Ash yogurt is produced from raw milk and has a thick but fluid consistency. The milk from cows and goats is not mixed, but processed separately to make two different types of yogurt. The cow's milk yogurt is for men, while the goat's milk yogurt, a product with an intense flavor, recognized for its nutritional value, is for women and children. The flavor varies according to the duration of fermentation. These gourds were treasured and necessary in everyday life. This is an old and beautifully etched milk gourd with animals and tribal symbols and has a burnished patina and a cowhide for carrying. This gourd comes with a grass African Ring for balance so it stand upright. This lovely gourd was collected in the field and shows age and has a crack. Their is a no top for this gourd. Tribal Milk Gourds are so unique and beautiful as home decor or given as a gift to a man or a woman, or to add to your collection.
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