When telling my family about my project and looking into the story of Mame Coumba Bang, I was told that the traditional way of giving food or liquid offerings was with a calabash. A Calabash is a term used for artefacts made from the hard shell of a fruit in the gourd family “Lagenaria siceraria.” Once the calabash is dried and hollowed out it can be used for serving or storing food.
In West Africa, calabash vessels were used for many practical purposes. Their makers enhanced the beauty of these objects of daily use by decorating their surfaces in different ways.
I was lucky enough to have my aunt buy the calabash above after a trip from Senegal which my mum gave to me when she came to visit. I think it’s an important cultural piece relating to Mame Coumba Bang’s story and which also represents an object which was once used in everyday life in Senegal.