July 3, 2014
This carved wood tobacco container with a stopper, known as dinga gutta, was made by the Gond people of India. The Portuguese introduced tobacco to India in 1600, and its use quickly became widespread. This container was likely made to hold snuff, a popular form of finely ground tobacco. It was made in the Bastar District of central India. The Gonds are a group of aboriginal people with a population of over 2 million people. Although some of the population speaks Hindi rather than their native Gondi, the Gond are not beholden to the Hindu caste system or other Hindu restrictions. They practice their own religion which centers on a group of clan or village deities and ancestor worship.