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This gourd, with a wonderful deep patina, has a long, turned wooden handle attached, and has been made into a rattle. (There is something loose inside the gourd which rattles as it is shaken).
The gourd has been decorated with brass and copper wire in various crescent and other geometric motifs – the wire has been ‘sewn’ into the surface of the gourd.
Such brass and copper wire work is more usually seen on Zulu gourd snuff bottles.
The wire used to decorate gourd containers and knobkierrie clubs often was sourced by pillaging telegraph cables during early colonial days much to the annoyance of the colonial authorities!
The rattle here is in fine condition and has obvious age. There are no losses to the wirework.
Petridis, C., The Art of Daily Life: Portable Objects from Southeast Africa, 5 Continents, 2011.
Zaloumis, A., Zulu Tribal Art, Amazulu, 2000.