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.
- Northern Nguni (Culture) , Magwaza Family
- Vessel (Ukhamba)
- South Africa (Object made in), Africa (Object made in)
- Blackened terracotta
- 48.3 × 50.8 cm (19 × 20 in.)
- Charles R. and Janice Feldstein Endowment