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Kenyan Milk Jug or Gourd (Previously I thought it was a Treen Canteen)

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    Posted 5 years ago

    (66 items)

    UPDATE: Canyon Road solved the mystery. He said it was a traditional Kenyan Milk Gourd or Jug that had likely had some tribal use. I thank him profusely for figuring this one out.
    I got this from an on-line auction several years ago. I don't know why but I fell in love with it. I love the metal patch on the bottom and the hide top that fits perfectly. I don't so much love the horrible cheese-like smell when you open it up though. It came from the pacific northwest. I don't think it is native american but haven't ruled that out since I don't know enough to do so. I have never seen anything quite like it but it does resemble in some ways the homemade canteens used during the civil war (though not in shape). It is about 8" high and weighs about 2 pounds.
    I am going to post a few more pieces of treen I have collected over the years. I am not entirely sure why it appeals to me so strongly but I am drawn to it. I think it is probably because you can see (and in this case smell) its age.
    Any thoughts on what it might be or its age would be appreciated.

    Mystery Solved
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    1. kyratango kyratango, 5 years ago
      Quite a touching piece!
      The repair is really part of its history. Nowadays everything with a flaw is discarded and goes to trash!
      From the cheezy smell, it was perhaps intended to hold some milk :-)
    2. Jean123, 5 years ago
      maybe -- yes I agree the patch is very compelling. especially since it is held on with a huge number of nails considering the size of the patch. No evidence of the patch on the inside either.
    3. CanyonRoad, 5 years ago
      This is African, a traditional milk gourd from Kenya. Unlike many beaded ones made for the souvenir/tourist trade, yours has the authenticity of actually having seen tribal use.
    4. Jean123, 5 years ago
      WOW!!! Thank you so much Canyon Road. That explains the smell for sure. I was thrown off by the fact that I got it from the pacific northwest of US so assumed it was from that area. Amazing group here on CW!
    5. Jean123, 5 years ago
      Canyon Road, I just looked up Kenyan milk jugs and saw one that looked quite a bit like mine -- same lid and general shape. I am so happy to have learned what it is.
    6. katherinescollections katherinescollections, 5 years ago
      What a very cool thing you have there, Jean. Glad CanyonRoad was able to help you ID it. :)
    7. Jean123, 5 years ago
      Thanks Katherine -- me too. And kudos to Kyra for thinking it was for milk too.
    8. katherinescollections katherinescollections, 5 years ago
      Yes, I'm sure you'll thank them both when you mark your mystery as solved. :)
    9. Jean123, 5 years ago
      I just marked this mystery as solved and want to thank everyone, especially Canyon Road who was right on target with identifying what I had thought was a treen canteen from the pacific northwest of the us as something quite different: a traditional milk gourd from kenya! Special shout out also goes to Kyratango who picked up on the "cheesy smell" and guessed it was probably used for milk. CW has quite a remarkable group of people on it, I feel immensely fortunate to have stumbled up on it. Thanks again!

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