Snuff Container

Overall: 10.3 x 4 x 3.5 cm (4 1/16 x 1 9/16 x 1 3/8 in.)
Location: not on view
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Did You Know?

The tobacco product snuff was stored in decorative, yet useful, containers like this one.


This snuff container in the form of a human (female) figure was carved from cattle horn. The form of the image follows the curve of the horn, with arms and hands held to the chest. Despite its smallish size and minimalist execution, this object demonstrates considerable expressive power. Cattle had special meaning for the pastoralist peoples of southern Africa in that it stood for the wealth and status of the individual and the group. However, similar to the ideas associated with tobacco and snuff, cattle also referred to the world of the ancestors. Snuff containers like this one had great significance for their owners and users.
Snuff Container

Snuff Container


Africa, Southern Africa, Lesotho, South Sotho maker

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