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Vessel (Kume Ndu)

A work made of blackened terracotta.

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  • A work made of blackened terracotta.

Date:

Mid–20th century

Artist:

Babessi, Cameroon
Coastal West Africa

About this artwork

The wraparound lip and figurative appliqué pattern on this vessel reflect its origin in the ceramics center of Babessi, where all of the pottery is made by women. The form and figural decoration suggest its elevated status. It was used to serve palm wine, which occupies a central place in courtly and ritual life in the Cameroon Grassfields. Sharing the beverage enhances social relationships but also fosters communication with the ancestors, who are regularly called upon for assistance and protection.

On View

Arts of Africa, Gallery 137

Culture

Babessi

Title

Vessel (Kume Ndu)

Origin

Cameroon

Date

1925–1975

Medium

Blackened terracotta

Dimensions

45.7 × 7.2 cm (18 × 18 5/8 in.)

Credit Line

Restricted gift of Mrs. Stanley M. Freehling

Reference Number

1995.11

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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