Smoking and Drinking

By Victoria Rovine
University of Florida (formerly University of Iowa)

Tanzania; Kwere peoples

Figural container

Wood, fiber

H. 17.78 cm (7")

The University of Iowa Museum of Art, The Stanley Collection, X1990.681

The elegant minimalism of much Kwere figurative sculpture is evident in this container, which alludes obliquely to the human form. The stopper depicts the two crests of Kwere women's coiffures, narrowing into a "neck" encircled by leather. Kwere snuff containers closely resemble another type of figurative sculptureā€”the dolls made for young girls. Both crystalize in a highly abstract sculpture the essential elements of the female form.