Figurative Male Vessel, (Mambila People, Cameroon)

Figurative Male Vessel, (Mambila People, Cameroon) - Pottery & Terra-cotta

Figurative Male Vessel, (Mambila People, Cameroon)

19 x 10 x 10 ″Hand molded of terra-cotta clay.

This animated vessel was hand molded from terra cotta clay by the Mambila People of the Republic of Cameroon. It is a brilliant example of pottery that is “anthropomorphic” (the ascription of human characteristics to an object that is non-human). Indeed, this figure employs female characteristics. It is marked by a triangulated, frog like mouth with large ears, a vertical nose, and engraved spikes above the head. The long arms comfortably wrap under the figure’s breasts, then are raised to the face in a prayer-like gesture. The inner body is deeply scalloped and the remainder of surface structure is embellished with carved, raised bumps that are both aesthetic and aid one’s grip of the vessel while held. Among the Mambila people, these specific vessels are known as “tadep,” or “kike” and often carry with them spiritual attributes.

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