Turkana Container

Turkana container made from an animal skin, a wooden stopper and a leather strap bound which originally would be to carry it with.

Tribe: Turkana

Origin: Kenya

Approx Age: Mid – Later 20th Century

Materials: Animal skin & wood

Dimensions cm: 26 tall x 18 widest point

Ref. Number: 0259

A lovely, practically and traditional styled Turkana container which would have been used for storing and carrying liquids and the likes of honey. This is made from an animal skin and has a wooden stopper and a leather strap bound which originally would be to carry it with. Ex UK collection and in fantastic and used condition.


The Turkana are nomadic pastoralists who live in the desert regions of north western 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.

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