Just about every folk tale of African origin or book set in pre-colonial times has the calabash as a regular feature. Its presence is always there, lurking at the corners of huts and houses or front and center in the market place. It is the object that young girls used when they went to the streams to fetch water, and was always as effective as the basket when it came to carrying foodstuff after the harvest was done. The calabash is wonderfully versatile.
This amazing object is considered so universally African that during the FIFA 2010 World Cup held in South Africa, the very first one on African soil, the Soccer City Stadium was reconstructed into the shape of a calabash. This was done as a representation of Africa as a whole and to demonstrate that Africa is a true melting pot.
In various communities across Africa, the calabash is also used to make musical instruments. It has been made into everything from a tambourine to a water drum.
Additionally, smaller ones have been used as the designated cup to drink the unique African palm wine.
Like many other things originating in Africa, the calabash has steadily gained ground as a piece of art for home décor. Because it can be decorated and adorned, it is the perfect canvas for art enthusiasts and homeowners interested in spicing up their living spaces.
From harvest aid to home décor, the calabash is more than just an object; it is a wonderful representation of all the things that are unique and beautiful about Africa and Africans: we are absolutely versatile and there is nothing we cannot do.