Vessel (Ukhamba)

A work made of blackened terracotta.

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  • A work made of blackened terracotta.

Date:

1970s/1980s

Artist:

Magwaza family
Zulu
South Africa
Eastern and Southern Africa

About this artwork

Clusters of raised welts, evocatively known as amasumpa (warts), are among the oldest forms of embellishment on Zulu pottery, dating to the early 19th century. It is likely that the decoration was originally a royal prerogative and may have alluded to the scarifications that embellished women’s bodies or to the herds of cattle that composed an extended family’s wealth. The motif on this large vessel, suggestive of cow horns, underscores this association. The Magwaza family of potters has a unique way of applying such decoration, pushing the bumps out from the inside of the container rather than pressing small peaks of clay onto the exterior.

On View

Arts of Africa, Gallery 137

Artists

Northern Nguni (Culture) , Magwaza Family

Title

Vessel (Ukhamba)

Places

South Africa (Object made in), Africa (Object made in)

Date

1970-1990

Medium

Blackened terracotta

Dimensions

48.3 × 50.8 cm (19 × 20 in.)

Credit Line

Charles R. and Janice Feldstein Endowment

Reference Number

2003.78

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 .

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