Where’d You Get That?
This gourd is now the centerpiece at my apartment.
What: Milk Gourd
Where: Lake Baringo, Kenya
I bought this gourd four years ago from Diana Ross’ cousin, 30 times removed. At least that is what he claimed. The story I was told is that Diana got into that whole genetic testing craze a few years back and went on a search for her roots.
She learned that she originated from the Pokot Tribe in Kenya’s Rift Valley—specifically the Pokot who live on the north shore of Lake Baringo. According to everyone in the tribe and the owners of the nearby Samatian Island Resort —a laid back, private island and resort in the middle of the hippo and croc-filled lake—Diana came, she met the tribe, and apparently she was spit on by the chief of her tribe—the very same gentleman who sold me this milk gourd.
The chief of the Pokot tribe.
According to Caro Withey, the owner of the Samatian Island Resort, it was a sign of respect. Unfortunately, Diana didn’t remember that old family custom and left immediately after the incident (can’t say I blame her). Some customs just don’t translate. Thankfully, the chief had stopped spitting on non-locals by the time I met him because that would not have ended well. Trust.
The chief had other gourds for sale but they weren’t as nice as the one inside his home.