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Storage Container

A work made of terracotta and slip.

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  • A work made of terracotta and slip.


Early/mid–20th century


Burkina Faso
Northern Africa and the Sahel

About this artwork

Burkina Faso is home to some of the most prolific and vital pottery traditions of the African continent, and large, handsomely formed storage containers are among the region’s hallmarks. This plump, double-tiered container was collected in Dedugou, a town in the Bwa region, but its style and iconography are more closely related to Nuna pottery from an area just southeast of the Bwa. The rough texture of the pot’s rouletted lower half sets off the smoothly burnished upper part, with its applied motifs of chameleons, arrow-shaped patterns, and vertical and horizontal lines. Among the Nuna, chameleons are a symbol of change, magical transformation, and human fertility, while the arrow motif may represent women. Themes of regeneration and fecundity are familiar ones for storage containers throughout the region.

—Revised from Kathleen Bickford Berzock, For Hearth and Altar, African Ceramics from the Keith Achepohl Collection (2005), pp. 88-89.

Currently Off View

Arts of Africa




Storage Container


Burkina Faso


Made 1900–1975


Terracotta and slip


61 × 61 cm (24 × 24 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Keith Achepohl

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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