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ID number:  BIRRC-D0055
Institution:  Research and Cultural Collections
Named collection:  Danford Collection of West African Art and Artefacts
Artist / Maker:  Unknown
Title / Object name:  Calabash ladle
Object type:  Culinary equipment
Place made:  Oyo, W. Nigeria
Culture:  Yoruba
Measurements:  31.5 cm

This calabash ladle has been decorated with lizard motifs in shallow relief. Calabashes have various uses in Yoruba culture from domestic and utilitarian to ceremonial, serving as receptacles, tools and even musical instruments. The Yoruba in particular use a particular type of calabash ladle called an 'igbako',a triangular tool primarily for scooping grain. Although not an example of this type it is likely this object would serve similar purpose being used for food or drink.

This item was bequested to the University of Birmingham in 1972 by E.H. Duckworth. Teacher, scientist and photographer Edward Harland Duckworth was recommended to the post of Inspector of Education in Nigeria in 1930 following the commendation of his teaching work in Cheltenham. During his time in Nigeria he taught science, developed teaching methods and was elected as editor of Nigeria Magazine, adding his own photographs to articles.

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