beer pot cover; xirutu; imbenge

A basketry beer pot cover, or 'imbenge', made from telephone wire in white, grey, green, brown, blue, yellow, pink, orange and black.

'Xirutu' (food basket) made out of polychrome plastic-coated telephone wire coiled around a core of vegetal fibre. '"Xirutu" are food baskets mostly made out of a fibre coil of a woody creeper, cocculus hirsutus (Menispermaceae), over which telephone wire is stitched. Previously only natural fibre and dyes were used to make Xirutu baskets' (Africa Media Online, 2009). Comparable basket in the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford, object number 1993.9.2, also collected by Tessa Katzenellenbogen. Comparable basket in the British Museum, object number Af1991,09.67.

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The database sometimes uses language taken from historical documents to help research, which may now appear outdated and even offensive.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: