MAf 01384

Please find more information about the object below the image.

Producer unknown to us

Snuff box

Africa, Tanzania, Kilimanjaro

Prior to 1898

Gourd, leather, glass beads, threaded, sewn

Hans Meyer collected this snuff box on one of his Kilimanjaro expeditions between 1886 and 1898

Donation to the museum by Meyer in 1898

MAf 01384

This bulbous vessel (Kihondi) with two short carrying pins was carved out of a tree trunk utilizing an adze and various carving and scraping tools. The Chaga used it to transport and to store liquids such as water or banana beer (mbege). These vessels usually had a carved lid, which is missing here. Its careful execution and decoration suggest that the vessel was made initially for one of the chiefs of the Chaga, who Meyer depended on for help during his expeditions.

Hans Meyer apparently acquired the object during his third Kilimanjaro expedition in 1898. Meyer reports in his notes that when his caravan arrived, he was always offered fresh food such as soured milk or banana beer, which he paid for at fixed prices. There is much to suggest that Meyer purchased the containers as well in one or more instances rather than decanting them to his casks. Unlike the food bowl, the vessel shows signs of use. In contrast to previous donations, Meyer gave the object to the museum the year he returned.

Dietmar Grundmann