A Pilgrim`s Gourd Canteen

week a couple of dried gourds fell in my pocket and i decided to make medieval canteens out of them.

So far this was my third attempt. The first failed and became a bowl, very successful bowl actually. The second attempt was a success, made a good big bottle with capacity of some 2,5 liters.

This time the gourds were different – small and cute.

So at first I cut the top open and pour out the seeds and the filling. Then I put small sharp pebbles and some water in and just shake the gourd until all the insides fall out and everything is clean. After a good half an hour of shaking I managed to do that. At this stage I noticed that these gourds have very thin walls and the first gourd had cracked in the middle. Naturally I tried to be more careful with the second one, but it was even weaker and broke in two. It was a shame… but on the other hand I managed to fix the first. I melted some honey-wax and warmed up the gourd in the oven and when the fruit was warm enough I poured in the hot wax and shook it around to cover the whole inside. Luckily the wax sealed the crack and although weak the bottle survived. It looks a bit beaten up,  but after all it`s a pilgrim`s bottle.

In the end I added a tap and leather straps to hang it over my shoulder, filled it with water and now we wait to see if I`ve done my job well.


5 thoughts on “A Pilgrim`s Gourd Canteen”

  1. You can find thicker walled gourds in the same shape as the one you used. It is also important to make sure the gourd isn’t “over cured”. Gourds that have been left in the elements for a couple of years, or have had the exterior cleaned tend to be a bit more fragile.

    • Yes, we have trouble finding quality gourds because they get spoiled when left in the elements, but we patch them up with more wax. We found a type of wax that is very hard and doesn’t break or melt easily. We’re made a dozen gourds with it and it seems very durable so far 🙂

  2. Hi I am from Malta and am trying to buy A Pilgrim`s Gourd Canteen pls can you help me out and tell me from i can buy. Thanks Steve.

    • Hey, we make and sell gourd canteens but we are in a bit of a hold up at the moment. The gourds will be available for sale in a couple of months. 🙂

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