Collection Artwork
2000 1 16 pr w02
2000 1 16 pr w01
2000 1 16 pr w04
2000 1 16 pr w03
2000 1 16 pr w02
2000 1 16 pr w01
2000 1 16 pr w04
2000 1 16 pr w03
ceremonial vessel
20th century
ceramic
overall size: 14 1/4 x 15 1/2 x 15 1/2 in.
Gift of Bill and Gale Simmons
Burkina Faso, Africa
2000.1.16

Object Label

The protruding spikes elevate this pot beyond the earthly realm of everyday use by discouraging frequent handling. They also indicate that a powerful spirit resides within. Honoring this protective spirit unites the family and larger community. This pot, specifically made for a shrine, is apotropaic in nature, meaning that it wards off witchcraft, misfortune, and illness. The Lobi believe that if women in their reproductive years make spiritually powerful pots, they risk infertility. Therefore, only post-menopausal women may construct such pots. While only women make Lobi ceramics, men assume ownership of the pots, each generation passing them from father to son.

From the exhibition: African Pots and Gender (November 14, 2009 – January 3, 2010)

Ongoing Research

Research on our collection is ongoing. If you have resources you’d like to share, please contact Associate Curator Rebecca McNamara.

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African Pots and Gender
Exhibition
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Africa Embodied:
The Language of Adornment
Exhibition
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