Nestled in a valley surrounded by mountains, we discover a hidden pleasure palace. We see the king with his family, shaded by a servant holding a sun umbrella and sitting comfortably, as if on a private terrace. On either side are arched ladders, with servants approaching. The domestic scene is lively and joyful. The delicate centralized figures remind us of intimate moments with those closest to us, in stark contrast to the large, ominous shapes in the background, signifying a vast world beyond our inner circle.
The central palace in the image is a “kudou” container crafted by the Akan People of Ghana. Enclosed by a lid, the kudou served as a vessel for gold and precious objects and was often buried with its owner to ensure wealth and prosperity in the afterlife. The landscape consists of four iconic terra-cotta vessels. The leftmost, second and last are water pots crafted by the Dinka People of Uganda. The third, upward-facing vessel, with its distinctive bowl-shaped mouth, is a Nupe pot from Nigeria.