Bamana Terracotta Vessel, Mali
Arthur Cohen & Elaine Lustig Cohen, New York, acquired from the above on January 13, 1968
The large ovoid shape of this vessel helped to serve its utilitarian purpose. Women often carried water and other goods in these voluminous pots, and their sturdiness made them reliable storage containers in domestic settings. The bottom half of these terracotta vessels was formed using a convex mould, while coils were used to help raise the clay up to its lip. Evidence of the pot’s age, stylized outlines of three small lizards appear splattered around the shoulder of the vessel. While these anthropomorphic motifs used to be common in terracotta pots of this type, artisans have shifted to slip designs in recent decades.