container (containers)


The gourd is a large fruit commonly found in tropical regions all over the world, including South America and Central America. Along with being nutritious, gourds have long be utilised as vessels, their waterproof skin forming a hard shell when hollowed and dried. In Peru, local artists have long engraved scenes into gourd vessels. Sometimes these are floral or geometric patterns, but often, they are landscapes or stories, as with this vessel. In this Peruvian gourd vessel, likely from the early or mid-twentieth century, the artist has depicted everyday events from an Andean village, with an early car, loaded llamas, birds, cattle and large colonial houses. The red colouration augments the carving and is generally applied with ochre paints after the carving is complete.

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The database sometimes uses language taken from historical documents to help research, which may now appear outdated and even offensive.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

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