gourd cleaner

Gourd cleaner consisting of a black cow's tail on a wooden handle. The handle is burnt on the tip to prevent it cracking. The object was made by a woman, with the tail from her husbands cow. The cow tail is put on the handle when wet, so that it dries tight and firm. It was used by women and girls to remove the charcoal from the inside of gourds and wooden milk containers after they have been burnt to seal them. Samburu milk has a lovely smokey taste.

Collection Information

These objects are only a part of our collections, of which there are more than 350,000 objects. This information comes from our collections database. Some of this is incomplete and there may be errors. This part of the website is also still under construction, so there may be some fields repeated or incorrectly formatted information.

The database sometimes uses language taken from historical documents to help research, which may now appear outdated and even offensive. The database also includes information on objects that are considered secret or sacred by some communities.

If you have any further information about objects in our collections or can suggest corrections to our information, please contact us: enquiry@horniman.ac.uk