Object Record

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Catalog Number 01.C.15
Object Name Gourd
Title Incised Gourd
Artist Unknown
Collector Frank Gouldsmith Speck
Description Brown, hollowed gourd incised with decorative pattern. Two holes at either end.

Presented with the papers of Frank G. Speck (APS Library).
Label Native American groups used hollow gourds for many purposes; this gourd was probably a ceremonial rattle. Piercing a gourd with sharp rocks or a knife, and then shaking, removed as much of the internal fiber as possible. The gourd was then dried and decorated. After being filled with dried corn kernels, quartz crystals, turquoise, or small stones, the rattle could be attached to the end of a stick or worn around the waist. Frank Gouldsmith Speck, an anthropologist and professor at the University of Pennsylvania, gave this gourd to the APS along with a beaded knife and case (01.C.40) and his papers. Native Americans from the Eastern Woodlands, Speck's main area of research, may have made the gourd. Speck, who spent decades doing fieldwork among Native Americans and collecting their material culture, donated many items to local museums.
Material Gourd
Dimensions L-4 Dia-2.75 inches
Credit line American Philosophical Society. Gift of Mrs. Frank Speck, 1950.
Search Terms Native America