Wood, glass beads, shell, and cotton
Overall: 20.3 cm (8 in.)
Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 2010.201
A man likely made the wooden container while a woman likely made the beaded attachment.
Combining beauty and functionality, this finely carved wooden snuff container is adorned with twisted strands of colorful glass beads. Once an object of status, it signaled the wealth and taste of its owner. Its general shape and the parallel ridges appear to be the skillful imitation of a fruit. Throughout southern Africa and elsewhere on the continent, smoking tobacco and taking snuff are enjoyed as activities that enhance positive social relationships. Both men and women wore these personal and portable objects attached to cloaks, carried in bags, or adorning the neck, arm, or waist.
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