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.
- Vessel (Kume Ndu)
- Blackened terracotta
- 45.7 × 7.2 cm (18 × 18 5/8 in.)
- Restricted gift of Mrs. Stanley M. Freehling