Pyro-engraved gourd

Northern Nigerian
20th century

Object Place: Nigeria


Overall: 20.3 x 38.1 cm (8 x 15 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


Africa and Oceania, Contemporary Art


Decorative arts

Hollowed-out gourds serve as receptacles of food and drink, and as storage vessels or carrier-containers throughout Africa. This example, with delicate “fine line” cross-hatching contrasted with the broad bands of deeply engraved lines is a style unique to a number of groups living in the Uba Plains of Nigeria. The interior shows no evidence of use, indicating that this was carved specifically for market.


Between the 1980s and 1990s, acquired in Paris by anonymous donors; 2009, anonymous gift to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 20, 2010)

Credit Line

Anonymous gift