Object photography

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Object description

  • Penobscot artist
  • Powder horn, before 1815
  • Cow horn, brass, cordage
  • Maine, United States
  • L: 14 1/4 in, dia.: 3 1/4 in (L: 36.2 cm, dia.: 8.3 cm)
  • Museum Purchase, 1947
  • E27326
  • Used in war, to transport gunpowder and keep it dry
  • Double-curve motif suggests balance

By 1670, the English had begun trading guns, ammunition and tools with the Penobscot in Maine-even though the Penobscot sometimes turned these weapons against English militias. The double-curve design, used by many Northeastern Native peoples, may have expressed the artist's desire for balance and alliance in his community during times of war and uncertainty.