Vessel with handles



Bozo-Somono peoples
Late 19th–mid 20th century
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General Description

Elaborate surface decoration distinguishes this vessel as Bozo-Somono. Before firing, it was embellished with raised bands and incised and impressed geometric motifs, and was then painted with a red slip (liquid clay mixture). After firing, the vessel was rubbed with white kaolin to create color contrast and to emphasize the motifs. The potter then attached the lugs for carrying the vessel. Such vessels were traditionally given as gifts to new brides.

Vessels of this type were used to store water offered to visitors. They were—and still are—handmade by Somono women who have changed neither the centuries-old design nor the method of production. After creating a base for the vessel in a shallow bowl, the potter builds the walls with clay coils and shapes and smooths the form on a slow-moving oiled "turntable."

Excerpt from

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

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