Gourd container used for divination, Kenya, 1871-1900
The seeds and flesh of the gourd have been removed. The remaining hard shell has been used as a container for pebbles used in divination. The gourd or calabash belonged to a healer, sometimes called a medicine man, of the Akikuya tribe of Kenya. The gourd was donated to the Wellcome collections in 1929 by renowned Kenyan archaeologist Louis S B Leakey (1903–1972). As well as his broader work on the African origins of human evolution, Leakey investigated the social and cultural customs of the Akikuya tribe.
Related Themes and Topics
There are 371 related objects. View all related objects
Techniques and Technologies:
Glossary: medicine man
The ornamental, hard-shelled fruit of a vine.Hollowed gourds can be used as a number of things, including bowls or bottles.
The practice of seeking knowledge of the future through the interpretation of omens or other supernatural means.