Turkana milking jug

  • Tribe: Turkana
  • Origin: Kenya
  • Approx Age: Later 20th Century
  • Materials: Wood, leather strap, metal repair
  • Dimensions cm: 28 tall x 13 widest point
  • Ref. Number: 0261
£65.00

This is a nicely styled Turkana milking jug from the Turkana tribe of Kenya. This type of African artefact is not one of a ritual nature but an item that would be of everyday use. A vessel of this type would be used to contain milk from the herds of goats or cattle. This milking jug has evidence of extensive use as it has been repaired by the tribes people at sometime. Remains of a leather strap/handle which would have been used as a form of handle to carry the vessel.

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The Turkana are nomadic pastoralists who live in the desert regions of northwestern Kenya. Turkana tribe is part of the Nilotic tribes and constitutes the second largest pastoralist community in Kenya after the Maasais. The Turkana tribe originally came from the Karamojong region of northeastern Uganda. Turkana oral traditions purport that they arrived in Kenya while pursuing an unruly bull. The land they occupy is harsh and very dry. The Turkanas were, therefore, less affected by colonialism than other tribes because the British saw little value in their land.
The Turkana live in small households consisting of a man, his wives, their children and possibly some dependent women. This social unit is referred to as an awi. Household size varies considerably according to wealth, but averages about 20-25 people. All livestock are “owned” by the male head of the household, but within the awi they are allocated to women. The number of animals allocated depends upon a woman’s status within the family and the number of children which must be fed. Women milk those animals which are allocated to them; the offspring of these livestock will be the basis of their sons’ future herds.

The Turkana are nomadic pastoralists who live in the desert regions of northwestern Kenya. Turkana tribe is part of the Nilotic tribes and constitutes the second largest pastoralist community in Kenya after the Maasais. The Turkana tribe originally came from the Karamojong region of northeastern Uganda. Turkana oral traditions purport that they arrived in Kenya while pursuing an unruly bull. The land they occupy is harsh and very dry. The Turkanas were, therefore, less affected by colonialism than other tribes because the British saw little value in their land.
The Turkana live in small households consisting of a man, his wives, their children and possibly some dependent women. This social unit is referred to as an awi. Household size varies considerably according to wealth, but averages about 20-25 people. All livestock are “owned” by the male head of the household, but within the awi they are allocated to women. The number of animals allocated depends upon a woman’s status within the family and the number of children which must be fed. Women milk those animals which are allocated to them; the offspring of these livestock will be the basis of their sons’ future herds.