X65.5813ab Bottle

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Not Currently On View in Intersections 


Object Name: Bottle

Artist: Unknown

Cultural Group: Bamileke peoples

Place of Origin: Cameroon

Date: 19th century

Dimensions: Total Height: 62.50 cm, H: 53.50 cm, DIAM: 21.00 cm

Materials Used: Gourd, glass beads, textile, felt, thread

Credit Line and Accession Number: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of the Wellcome Trust. X65.5813ab


Drinking palm wine is a sacred activity for the ruler and his entourage. It is the ultimate social lubricant and considered essential to hospitality and conviviality, both highly valued in Grassfields royal contexts. Elaborately ornamented containers with images of birds, elephants, and leopards highlight the royal prerogative of drinking palm wine and are prominently displayed next to the ruler whenever he sits in state. The designs on some containers are typical of Grassfields arts and sometimes refer to the spider, who is associated with prophecy and clairvoyance.

Gallery text, Intersections: World Arts, Local Lives, 2006