A Brief History of Gourds

May 29, 2020

I sung in a church choir when I was younger, but I never played an instrument or performed. However recently, just before the COVID-19 breakout, I attended a gourd workshop.

Brief history of gourds: the gourd is any of several vine families bearing fruits with a hard rind, the outside of the fruit, producing irregular and unusual shapes for almost every purpose. Historically, Gourds are from Northwest Africa and through man, animals, and water were distributed to various parts of the world. Specimens of gourds were found in the Egyptian tomb of the 5th Dynasty and one of the oldest gourds is dated 12,000 BC.

Countries known to have used gourds for centuries are Japan, China, Russia, India, New Zealand, and countries along the Mediterranean Sea. Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Peru, Mexico, and the United States are major countries actively engaged in Gourd crafts today.

Gourds come in many sizes and shapes. They are light, portable and has many practical uses, such as drinking vessel, utensils or in my case a musical instrument. Therefore I did play an instrument. This instrument is unique because I made it. The colors I used represents the United States.

The gourd that Sharon crafted at a Gourd Workshop