Bowl; Milk Pail; Kgamelo



Bowl; Milk Pail; Kgamelo




Physical Description: A carved wooden milk bowl shaped like a large mug. This milk bowl has been made from a light-coloured wood which has been darkened on the outside. It has a foot rim and a raised band incised with wavy lines, triangular and lozenge shaped pittings. A small perforated lug projects from the band.
Contextual Description: 02:19:36 He says though the shape is slightly different it reminds him of traditional Tswana milking vessel made out of Murula wood.We call is kgamêlô the other side, and here they use, or he used the term morufa and if you are standing next to someone milking, and listen to the sound that the milk would be making as it drops into this, if sounds like…[makes noise] so that’s where you make the rufa
RHH: Can you ask if working with wood was something that he remembers seeing?
SL: He says he has seen a lot of woodcarving in his time. People are still doing that even today, he says there are still some people making mortars and pestles and wooden spoons. People are still producing those.
I mentioned a yoke for spinning oxen and he said that one I would not even buy from anyone I would make that myself. Its only that nowadays I have no need to produce such. I know longer make them, why? Because the government is ploughing for us, with tractors so why make yokes.
He has a carving axe somewhere. Transcription by KL of MAC_BB_20190817_RPM3 SL Interview with Tshupo Ntono, Village Elder, Language: Setswana with English translations by SL, 2019
Contextual Description: NS 1:09:57
a carved wooden milk bowl.

WT 1:10:01
This is like strong enough for that would still...

SL 1:10:07
What I find strange is that... anyway

WT 1:10:13
What's strange about it?

SL 1:10:14
Shape ya kgamelo g ya nna jalo [The shape of a milking pail is not like that - TS translation]
eh maybe as a Nneyo [thing - TS]... [JM: so this is] like there is a milking vessel like where you milk it right, and then after milking once it's full the boy who assists you will take this and take it to a bigger bucket (go na le kgamelo e o gamelang go yona) and then after filling this one... (ga twe ke eng? wa amogela) [bigger bucket = se-amogelo - TS note]... but I agree with what is written.

The above notes are from a transcription by Kathleen Lawther of a discussion between Gase Kediseng, JoAnn McGregor, Nicola Stylianou, Scobie Lekhuthile and Winani Thebele which took place at the Khama III Memorial Museum on the 5th of August 2019. To listen to the full recording please follow the link below.


Making African Connections


Pre 1899




whole: 193.675 x 142.875 mm




Collected by Reverend William Charles Willoughby, a Christian missionary, in what was then the Bechuanaland Protectorate (1885-1966). It is now the Republic of Botswana, having gained independence from Britain in 1966.
From 1889-92 Willoughby was pastor at Union Street Church, Brighton (now The Font pub). From 1893 to 1898 he worked for the London Missionary Society in Bechuanaland. He assembled this collection of objects during this period. This was a period of social and technological changes and these objects represent traditional lifestyles and skills, rather than the contemporary lives of the people Willoughby met.

Willoughby's collection was loaned to Brighton Museum in 1899 when he returned to the UK. The loan was converted into a donation in 1936, and accessioned as acquisition R4007.

Some objects were re-numbered with the WA (World Art) numbering system in the 2000s. These numbers have been reverted to the original R4007/... numbers where possible for consistency in 2019.

This object was on display in the exhibition 'Missionary Collectors' in the James Green Gallery of World Art, from July 2004 to January 2005.
William Charles Willoughby
Botswana, Southern Africa, Africa


Botswana, Southern Africa, Africa
Cultural Group: Tswana


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