What: Gourds belong to the same plant family as squash, cucumber, melons and pumpkins. They grow on vines and are thought to be among the oldest cultivated plants (not grown wild, but planted) in the world. The pictures are of a dried gourd, which has many practical uses. Because it is water-tight and lightweight it can be used for carrying and storing foods and liquids. Straps could be woven around the gourd to help carry it.
Who: Used mainly by American Indians, but many pioneers adopted the use of the gourd.