About this artwork
The closely related Cham and Mwona and their eastern neighbors the Longuda use pottery in rituals intended to protect against and treat spirit-inflicted maladies, in party by transferring the illness to a pot in which it can be contained. Among the Cha and Mwona these ritual containers are called itinate and are made by men with unique skills and knowledge. Among the Longuda, however, they are called kwandalha and the specialists who make them are women.
With their swollen bulges, jagged scales, scabby patches, and sharp points, these containers give graphic form to the pain and discomfort of disease. The highly stylized human form of this receptacle is particularly evocative: its tripartite trunk, suggesting torso and arms, is elongated and scabby, and its animated head has an almost anguished expression, with wide upturned eyes and an open mouth. [See also 2005.269, 2005.279, and 2005.280]
—Revised from Kathleen Bickford Berzock, For Hearth and Altar, African Ceramics from the Keith Achepohl Collection (2005), pp. 132-133.
Currently Off View
- Arts of Africa
- Container for Ritual Healing (Itinate or Kwandalowa)
- 38.1 x 11.4 cm (15 x 4 1/2 in.)
- Gift of Keith Achepohl