Collection Artwork
storage vessel (etso)
20th century
ceramic
overall size: 23 x 13 x 13 in.
Gift of Bill and Gale Simmons
Nigeria, Africa
2000.1.12

Object Label

The fascinating shape of this vessel alludes to the curvaceous form of the female body. The protruding cone-like shapes serve no functional purpose; rather they are mere decorative representations of breasts. The breast-like shapes and the patterned scarification-like marks imply a frontal viewing of a female figure. However, the discoloration of the bottom section of this piece has little if anything to do with female anatomy but suggests that a good portion of the pot was placed in the ground, perhaps to keep its contents cool and fresh.

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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Pattern by Fiona McLaughlin ’20
Inspired by the exhibition Opener 28 - Erika Verzutti: Mineral
The Tang Pattern Project celebrates the Museum’s 20th anniversary. Organized by Head of Design Jean Tschanz-Egger, past and current Tang Design Interns created patterns inspired by the Museum’s exhibition and event history.