Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Art History

First Advisor

Babatunde Lawal


In 2010, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts accessioned a ritual gourd from Mambila peoples of Nigeria and Cameroon into their collection. Although ritual containers with similar configurations abound in different parts of the Cameroon Grasslands in Central Africa, the VMFA gourd presents particular difficulties due to the nature of its accumulation and the lack of scholarship on the Mambila peoples. Therefore, in this thesis, all the aspects of its accumulation have been considered in relation to the culture and belief system of the Mambila and their neighbors. Special attention has been paid to the interconnectedness of form, function, and meaning throughout the thesis in order to shed some light on the social, cosmic, and ritual significance of the gourd and its attachments.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2014