The Matakam are a wetlands people living in modern day, Republic of Chad. Deeply entrenched in Matakam belief systems are various enactments identified as sacrificial, divination, and “death feast,” functions of which this clay vessel is utilized to consume their local wine product.
The head of this pot features a single opening, which is sculpted into three curved channels that connect with the body of the pot. Resembling the extending arms of an octopus, the top is decorated with raised bumps that are both aesthetic and function as a firm, hand grip while holding. The body of the vessel features a beautiful, orange, Mars-like patina accrued over decades of daily use. It is designed to contain liquids such as beer, oil, water or palm wine. Such pieces are additionally employed to honor one’s ancestors ritualistically or to place on appropriate shrines.