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Storage Vessel (Mulondo)

A work made of blackened terracotta.

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  • A work made of blackened terracotta.


Mid–20th century


Democratic Republic of the Congo
Central Africa

About this artwork

Writing in 1905 and 1906, the German ethnographer Leo Frobenius praised Songye pottery, attributing to it a “plainly astonishing beauty and a copious but measurable abundance of forms.” Indeed Frobenius recorded over two hundred different types of Songye pots, many of which were variations on the tall-necked storage container. This container is embellished in a characteristically robust style, with deeply incised lines that emphasize the neck and shoulders. The chain of arches appear tightly controlled, as do the grooves around the neck, and the arches at mid-neck have been squared off. According to Frobenius, much of this kind of embellishment is added to a pot when it is still wet, while finer details are incised after it is leather hard. The surface is overlaid with a dense, crusty coating interrupted by areas of high sheen that suggest age and use. A dry yellow substance coats the interior base and lower walls of this container, perhaps to help make it watertight. [See also 2005.252].


Currently Off View


Arts of Africa




Storage Vessel (Mulondo)


Democratic Republic of the Congo (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Blackened terracotta


55.2 × 39.3 cm (21 3/4 × 15 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

African and Amerindian Art Purchase Fund

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


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