Additions to EA748 Wodaabe, Niger

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As you might have seen on Instagram, we were recently handed over a number of beautiful calabashes and lids by Mette Bovin as an addition to her overwhelmingly rich collection from Wodaabe, EA748. Today we invite you to enjoy the beauty of the calabash carvings and the thoroughly crafted lids. The attentive reader will perhaps ask why there are two different carving techniques? Well, Wodaabe people buy calabashes in the markets when they come to town. Often the calabashes are already decorated by Fulani craftsmen (see for instance 1395, 1397, 1398, 1400 and 1401), but Wodaabe women will add the chalk layer in the top and their own carvings (see 1396 and 1403). Afterwards, they will smear the carved patterns with burned, ground peanuts for the lines to become dark (1403).Calabashes are used for carrying milk and processing buttermilk and butter, and they are central objects in Wodaabe everyday life. The lids are also used as plates and are crafted by Fulani men as well; except for 1406, the colourful one; which is made by Rinni Gorjo, a daughter in the Wodaabe family that Mette Bovin was adopted into. She was also the one to give Mette the calabashes, and it was her henna that painted 1396 red. Can anyone guess what 1405 is used for?


//Cecil Marie Schou Pallesen

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