Aug 25, 2010

Snuff Container

Snuff Container

1800s-1900s

Wood, glass beads, shell, and cotton

Overall: 20.3 cm (8 in.)

Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 2010.201

Description

Combining beauty and functionality, this finely carved wooden snuff container is adorned with twisted strands of colorful glass beads. Once an object of status, it signaled the wealth and taste of its owner. Its general shape and the parallel ridges appear to be the skillful imitation of a fruit. Throughout southern Africa and elsewhere on the continent, smoking tobacco and taking snuff are enjoyed as activities that enhance positive social relationships. Both men and women wore these personal and portable objects attached to cloaks, carried in bags, or adorning the neck, arm, or waist.

See also
Collection: 
African Art
Department: 
African Art
Type of artwork: 
Vessels

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