PurseArtist(s)Object Creation Datecirca 1890-1920Medium & Supportbrass and stringDimensions
10 5/8 in x 6 5/16 in x 1 15/16 in (26.99 cm x 16.03 cm x 4.92 cm)Credit LineGift of Dr. James and Vivian CurtisSubject matter
This object listed as made by Kirdi peoples, while most likely correct, 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.
While the use of this purse is not clear, since it is made of brass it is possible it was a prestige item.
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
Round brass purse with loops around the outer edge. Attached to each loop is a string of brass beads and a crotal bell. The handle is composed of brass beads. The edge of the flap closure is decorated with concentric semi-circles. Primary Object Classification Costume and Costume Accessories Primary Object TypepurseCollection 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.
symbols of office or status