Friday, March 5, 2010

Limuru Native Market - 1950s


Another extremely fine real photo postcard issued by Pegas Studio, Nairobi as part of their "Africa in Pictures" series issued during the 1950s. It is in near mint, uncirculated condition and features an image taken by S. Skulina, a commercial photographer working in Kenya in those years.

Entitled "Limuru Native Market", this is a wonderful example of the picture postcards which were so popular in the 1950s featuring traditional ways of life and different cultures and ethnicities and which today serve as a pictorial history.

The main item for sale in this market, seen lined up in rows in the foreground, would seem to be the African bottle gourd, which was typically used as a utensil across some parts of Africa. Left to mature before being harvested, these gourds or calabashes, were then hollowed out, dried and used as either bottles, bowls, or even pipes. I love the curved necks and organic forms of these handmade and totally unique bottles! Limuru itself, on the other hand, is best known for the large amounts of high quality Kenyan tea it produces.

Beth at The Best Hearts are Crunchy is holding today's Postcard Friendship Friday, where you'll find more vintage postcards and meet other collectors.

15 comments:

Postcardy said...

That's very interesting. I didn't know what a calabash was. I wonder how they make the gourds watertight.

Nora Johnson said...

So much fascinating info and wonderful images!

Happy PFF!

LOLA:)

Beth Niquette said...

Wow, that is so neat. I really liked the African gourds. It would be so great if we could grow 'em here...

I love this postcard! Thank you for the history behind it!

Happy PFF!

MuseSwings said...

Calabash is a great word, isnt it? Very informative post!

Sheila said...

In fact I wish there were more cards like this, pieces of social history. It's something to treasure.

dandelionlady said...

What a neat photo! I have done some carving with gourds myself. It's a lot of fun! I may have some small insight into the problem of watertightness. As I understand it, it actually wasn't a problem at all, but an asset. The small amount of water that would condense on the outside of the gourd actually cooled the water left inside through evaporation. Who needs fridges anyway!

Mary said...

My friend grows a smaller version of these, then makes bird houses for Christmas. They're pretty cool!

Linda said...

I had a large gourd that was ringed with beads and used as a shekere. It was handmade for me more than 20 years ago when I took shekere lessons in NYC.

Debs said...

wow! thank you all for your comments...who knew there would be so many experts on gourds out there!

Christine H. said...

I didn't know anything about gourds until I read all of this. I will be the envy of everyone at my gym when I show up with my gourd water bottle and they're all sipping out of metal and plastic ones. Oh yeah!

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

great postcard and interesting facts.

I too love the shape of gourds...and grew some in our back yard in Kentucky...The covering vines I had trailing upward were beautiful coverings, the perfect place to sit when our son was younger. He and our dog would sit under there.

Blessings & Aloha!

Irene said...

I would love one of these to paint on. Wouldn't that be great. Thanks for your wonderful post. happy PFF

Julie (Legacy Crafter) said...

My grandmother was an artist and used to clean out and dry gourds then would paint the nicest florals on the outside. They were awesome.

Interesting postcard you have here.

God Bless,
julie

Lyneen said...

I love picture postcards, they are time captured and tell a littel bit of history! thanks for sharing. Happy PFF

Heather Jacks said...

I have given you a sunshine award and linked to your blog in my latest post.

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