These authentic wooden bowls once belonged to the Tuareg tribal people that inhabit the Saharan regions of North Africa.  Tuareg natives are semi-nomadic pastoralists traveling with their grazing herds of camels, sheep or goats across the desert.  Dairy products are their staple food and these “milk bowls” were used for milking, storing and carrying milk, for souring milk, and making various milk based foods.  The women in the tribe carve these incredible bowls out of a single piece of wood, not an easy commodity to find in the desert, and are highly prized possessions passed down from one generation to the next.  They seem to always exhibit signs of heavy wear such as cracks that have been stapled together, chipped edges, and a dark brown patina from various products mixed to work like glue.  I found these bowls to be so beautiful and the history of the people that made and used them is just so fascinating.  I knew I needed to paint them and preserve this rich history through my art form.