Art from Eula Long - Peruvian gourd


Eula Long left me a Peruvian gourd from her collection. It is a pyroengraved gourd with a carrying string. In pyroengraving, the artist burns the design onto the gourd, creating various shades of brown, covered with glossy varnish. To bring out the details, the artist engraves or incises sharp lines that are the light tan of the gourd base color.

I wrote in my journal that I was thinking of this Eula Long gourd as possible bottle for gwo-bon-anj (Haitian voudou) for splurt spirit.

The top of the gourd is cut in zigzag line and keyed with one straight line marked with three petals. The top is threaded onto the cotton carrying string so it can't get lost. Obviously this was a working gourd, meant to hang or be carried by the string.

When I opened the top, I found two notes inside:

A handwritten note says, "Frederick J. Dockstader, Indian Art in South America (S.A.) New York Graphic Society, ca. 1900, Page 237, Incised Gourd container Lima, Peru, Quechua". The back of the note in red pencil says, "Bicolor basket, Lasona, Atacoma, Chile. Diaquita basketry. 1900 - ?" (I don't know anything about the basket.)

A typewritten note says, "DECORATED GOURD FROM PERU (designs burned, carved, then varnished) Eula Long".

The inside is pitted and dusty, apparently eaten by tiny beetle infestation. Thinking of the worms as living biological descendants is interesting. There is a twisted fiber string inside too. Possibly the original string that has been replaced. Thinking of fiber and quipus and how important fabric was to all Peru people.

The movies consist of 36 frames, photos taken 10-degree increments around the object. I retouched the scans extensively. The gourd is scuffed and the surface is deteriorated as if used and eaten through to the surface by the bugs.

See around it in different ways:

See it from the top, open and closed: graphics.

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