From the Yi ethnic minority group, this antique Chinese container would have been used to store tobacco. The decorative cinnabar paint color draws attention to the gentle dome shapes of the lid and bottom sections, which fit together with a deep overlap. The worn areas of the cinnabar expose the black lacquer undercoat. As a folk art object, this tobacco container combines both the pleasing aesthetic craftsmanship and utilitarian need which shaped the daily lives of many indigenous ethnic groups.
The large size of this container, 4.5 inches in diameter and 3 inches high, indicates that it would have been used for household tobacco storage, for enjoying a "family smoke" at the end of the day. Personal storage containers which would were carried about on a belt during the day were much smaller in size.