Gourd & Lontar Seed Containers

Here you will find a small selection of the few Lime Containers made from the Jungle Gourd or in local Timorese Labu Au Along with a need selection of containers created from the hollowed out seed of the Lontar Palm. These are all fascinating and unique.
There are just a few men in the central highlands of West Timor that specialise in carving containers. Gourds are not plentiful so I consider myself fortunate if sometimes a variety of containers available to me when I go there.

More often than not these containers are plainer than their bone or bamboo or wood compatriots, most have wooden heads for plugs and often with beadwork decorating them. If there is carving/scrimshaw it always matches/marches perfectly around the body of the gourd. The motifs include the Timorese version of the Kaif or the diamond and hook which represents the carvers’ clan and totemic guardian spirits and crocodiles that feature heavily in the craft from the Land of the Sleeping Crocodile.