Ceremonial rice bowl

Grebo peoples
20th–mid 20th century
more object details

General Description

Holiday feasts are occasions to adorn the dinner table with the best serving dishes and platters. Before the introduction of enamel wares, housewives among the Dan, We, Grebo, and neighboring peoples in Liberia and Cote d'Ivoire displayed their large, highly prized wooden bowls before filling them with rice.

Wooden serving bowls typically have a flat, narrow foot and straight or slightly flared walls. The outer wall of this bowl is decorated with incised diagonal lines arranged in separate or double rows that alternate with smooth, plain areas. The designs are symmetrical but differ from one side of the bowl to the other. When in use, the bowls are regularly polished.

Adapted from

  • Roslyn A. Walker, Label text, Arts of Africa, 2015.

  • Roslyn A. Walker, The Arts of Africa at the Dallas Museum of Art (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2009), 242-243.