Project Updates · The Locals · Uncategorized

object_ive: A Mesob, made in Eritrea

Earlier this month, we invited members of the African and Caribbean communities living and working in Sutton to contribute with images of a loved object -from a photograph, to a family heirloom and even a song or recipe- and the story behind it. In her submission, Selam shared photographs of her Mesob, reflected on its traditional use in Eritrea and the personal links to her heritage.

What is your object?

A woven round wicker basket, called a Mesob, made in Eritrea. Traditionally in Eritrea food is eaten from one large plate in a group, sharing food is an important part of our culture, especially with guests, who you would offer your best food. This basket can be used to place a plate inside for eating. The one pictured is smaller and in modern times, is used to place Injera (flat bread) at the table for special meals.

Where does this object live?

I keep mine in the living room at the top of our display cabinet, it was given to me by my mum when I moved out of home, so seeing it makes me feel at home. I use it rarely, when we have a special event.

What story does the object tell?

Having lived in the UK since I was a toddler, looking at my mesob and cooking traditional food gives me a link to home, and reminds me of the trips I’ve taken to Eritrea. Eritrea to me is family, it’s a chance to see my grandparents, aunts and uncles, it is beautiful weather, smells of spices in the sun, traditional huts in the countryside and the sounds of chickens in the morning. Just seeing my mesob brings back all those memories, and I love having it in my home.

The Locals: object_ive aims at celebrating the diverse communities of Sutton, making our collections more inclusive, and sharing what heritage means to each of us. Do you have an object meaningful to you that you would like to share? Get in touch at


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s