POTTERY IN AFRICA

Pots are like data, they provide insight into the cultural interchanges of African societies;

of African societies; the life they led, the paths they trod, the needs they had and the skills they possessed. Shards of pottery found by archaeologists in ancient sites tell us that pots were being made as early as 7000 BC.

Simultaneously art and craft, African pots represent both conceptual ideas and practical utility. At once durable yet fragile, they have endured for centuries and through them, we can start to imagine the artists who shaped their form with their bare hands and crafted their features with crude tools.

Our collection of pottery boasts of

Makonde pottery,Bakiga Pottery,Alur Pottery,Tabwa pottery,Maghbetu Pottery ,Songye pottery to mention but a few.

Pots were used in rural communities for carrying water, the mass storage of food and milk, cooking food, serving and drinking beer. Built for an entirely functional use the vessels were easily and cheaply made as long as clay was locally available.  Sculpted vessels expressing surface design were vehicles for addressing the metaphysical needs of the community. They could be fashioned with representational spirit forms and manipulations, or incised with designs, scribbles and scouring.These pots were often kept in their own confined, custom built spaces where they were tended and consulted for ritualistic purposes. Some were deliberately broken during ritual ceremonies, while some have endured and been maintained for many generations.

 

Currently, some traditions have been abandoned and the practice of making ritualistic vessels no longer exists in many communities.

 

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