Most people translate the milking containers into the English, “calabash.” While there are a couple milking containers that are made from gourds, most are made from carved wood. There are a little more than twenty shapes for lmala the are still in common use. There may be some containers, large ones, that no longer exist as the loss of large herds of cows over the last forty years starting with the big drought of the early 1970s has eliminated the need for large containers.

I have recorded each existing shape within the Lowland community I work, including a written definition of the container including where it fit into the culture of Samburu milk consumption.