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Zulu Milk Pail, South Africa

 Late 19th or early 20th century

Ex Terence Pethica Collection, UK

Ex Jacaranda Gallery, New York, NY



The Zulu Tribe have traditionally been pastoral people, relying on cows for meat and milk. The daily practice of milking was preceded with singing and dancing, along with the royal milkers holding the wooden pails in front with outstretched arms, whistling to calm the cows. The sides of this milk pail is decorated with traditional scarification along with protruding breast-like handles that helped keep the pail between the milkers legs. 

The rich patina gives this pail a golden glow. The breasts and curves echo the female body during pregnancy. 

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