Container Artist(s)Object Creation Datecirca 1890-1920Medium & Supportbrass and woodDimensions
3 1/8 in x 1 3/8 in x 1 3/8 in (7.94 cm x 3.49 cm x 3.49 cm)Credit LineGift of Dr. James and Vivian CurtisSubject matter
This object is listed as made by Kirdi peoples; while most likely correct, it is not without issue. “Kirdi”, meaning pagan, was the label given to the various peoples from northern Cameroon, northeastern Nigeria, and southern Chad by neighboring Fulani and Kanuri peoples because they did not practice Islam, while the latter do. The people collectively known as “Kirdi” are actually many different cultural groups with their own customs. However, due to a lack of information on where exactly this object came from, it is not possible to say with certainty which group of people created it.
Cast from brass, snuff—or tobacco—containers were once prestige items. They are part of a group of objects related to smoking, including brass pipes and powder horns.
Gebauer, Paul. 1979. Art of Cameroon.
Portland, Or.: Portland Art Museum.
Lembezat, Bertrand. 1961. Les populations païennes du Nord-Cameroun et de l'Adamaoua.
Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.
Lembezat, Bertrand. 1952. Mukulehe; un clan montagnard du Nord-Cameroun; coutumes, rites, croyances.
Northern, Tamara. 1984. The Art of Cameroon.
Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution.
Page, Donna. 2007. A Cameroon World.
New York: QCC Art Gallery Press.Physical Description
A cast brass container with a round body and a short neck. At the bottom of the container is a knob-like projection. The body of the container is decorated with incised lines and raised, undulating lines around the top and bottom edge. Near the neck is a small loop. The top of the container is closed with a wooden stopper. Primary Object Classification Decorative Arts Primary Object Typesnuff bottleCollection AreaAfricanRights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image
for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.