Altar Vessel

A work made of terracotta and sacrificial material.

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  • A work made of terracotta and sacrificial material.

Date:

Early/mid–20th century

Artist:

Gur-speaking peoples, possibly Lobi
Burkina Faso
Northern Africa and the Sahel

About this artwork

Across the Gur-speaking region, individuals and families establish altars to honor and commune with influential spirits. Making altar vessels is the work of highly accomplished potters. The spikes on these vessels reflect a practice that is found across West Africa. Among the Lobi, such spikes symbolize fertility, fecundity, and protection. On this vessel, a small ladle sits atop the lid, presumably for pouring substances in or out of the vessel. [See also 1998.520].

Currently Off View

Arts of Africa

Artist

Gur

Title

Altar Vessel

Origin

Burkina Faso

Date

1900–1950

Medium

Terracotta and sacrificial material

Dimensions

33 × 26.7 cm (13 × 10 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Keith Achepohl

Reference Number

2005.235

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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