Vessel for Serving Beer (Izikhamba)

A work made of blackened terracotta.

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  • A work made of blackened terracotta.

Date:

Mid–20th century

Artist:

Zulu
KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Eastern and Southern Africa

About this artwork

Zulu potters use a variety of patterns to ornament beer vessels, the textures of which stand in strong contrast to the pots’ highly burnished surfaces. Patterns often run in chains around the shoulders of a pot or take the form of large shapes placed in a pleasingly off-balance manner. The technique of applying raised welts—called amasumpa or “warts”—to fill in patterns is among the oldest forms of Zulu pottery decoration. Here amasumpa are used to define a chain of triangles. On the large serving vessel on the adjacent platform, larger welts are used to render a doublehooked motif.

Currently Off View

Arts of Africa

Artist

Northern Nguni

Title

Vessel for Serving Beer (Izikhamba)

Origin

South Africa

Date

1925–1975

Medium

Blackened terracotta

Dimensions

27.3 x 26.7 cm (10 3/4 x 10 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Keith Achepohl

Reference Number

2005.260

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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