Containers & Household Items 09

Different types of containers are used to carry water, milk or butter, grains and all kind of market goods. While sedentary tribes used stoneware (see gallery 14) and wooden containers, pastoral populations, used light material such as calabashes, skins and fibres. Nevertheless, all of these types have precise standards on how to make it and what will be its specific use, there are also distinctions and restrictions on who makes them and who uses them, women or men. Beside calabashes from West Africa and milk containers from Rwanda, the majority of my collection have been collected in situ during my numerous stays in Ethiopia. Ethiopian pastoral peoples have a variety of containers made in various materials (gourd, wood, animal horn, plant fibers, and leather) and using a different kind of designs and decoration. Most of them are made from a combination of materials and richly decorated.  Pastoralists always move from place to place, most of the jugs have leather handles which allow them to carry around. In addition to the Borana and Gabra, similar vessels are found among Somali, Rendille, and several Oromo groups.