Intembo or Agatana
Holder for Ceremonial Beer Straws or Milk Batons
Tutsi people
Rwanda
First half of 20th century
Coiling (lid) and twining (shaft)
Plant fibers, natural dye


Left: 17.5 x 2.25 inches  (44.5 x 5.5 cm)) SOLD
Middle: 19.75 x 2.75 inches  (50 x 7cm)
Right:  16.75 x 2 inches   (42.5 x 5 cm)    SOLD


Like milk, beers brewed from bananas, sorghum, millet, and honey were liquids of ritual significance. The meads were drunk communally after feasts, harvest celebrations, and rites commemorating marriages. The tradition inspired the fabrication of beautifully crafted fiber sheaths (as well as wood and beaded versions) for keeping straws and batons.

These were usually suspended in the home amid the other prestige containers on display. 

Note:  shown upside down

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Tutsi Basketry Straw ContainersTutsi Basketry Straw Containers