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Gallery Ezakwantu

African Art  - Art Africain - Tribal Art -  菲洲艺术 - Afrikanische Kunst - Außereuropäische Kunst


Central and Southern African Tribal Art





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African Potters - The Making of Pots





The following publication takes you step by step through the making of African clay pots. The booklet and research was made possible by a grant from the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) to whom we express our gratitude. Thanks also to The Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) for their support of the photography in Zambia and to Mr. Chiti Kabwe of the Moto Moto Museum who assisted the researchers. Special thanks should also go to the Zambian Ambassador to Sweden, Mr. S J Kazunga for his support for the project.





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Back Cover



Gallery Ezakwantu specializes in aesthetically pleasing, authentic, old pots and vessels from South East and Southern Africa, including those of the Lozi, Makonde, Ndau, Nyakusa, Nyanja, Shona, South Sotho, Tambuka, Tsonga and Zulu peoples. Click on the image below to enter our page.





Click this thumb to view a discussion on Mangbetu effigy vessels.  





About Pottery


The invention of pottery is a highly significant cultural phenomenon in human history. Although the role of early ceramics in different areas of the world is still a matter of debate, the emergence of pottery in a culture has often been linked with important changes in lifestyle, such as sedentary living and the emergence of food production. Although pottery may have had different functions in different communities, and at distinct times in the same communities, it obviously had, and still has, a major impact on people’s lives. Ceramics have not only assumed a utilitarian role, for instance in the preparation and storage of food and beverages, but clay pots and figurines have also served ritual and medical purposes (Barnett & Hoopes 1995). In sub-Saharan Africa pottery is invested with great symbolic importance. The craft is surrounded with rituals and prohibitions and several steps in the production sequence serve as a metaphor for interpreting and acting upon certain facets of human experience. People make metaphoric use of pottery vocabulary to refer to transformations from wet to dry, soft to hard, raw to cooked, natural to cultural, impure to pure through the operation of heat, to mark isolation and destruction, to designate bodily cavities, or to discuss concepts like spirit, conception, and essence (Barley 1994; Gosselain 1999; Jacobson-Widding 1992). Moreover, ‘potting traditions are “sociotechnical aggregates”, an intricate mix of inventions, borrowed elements, and manipulations that display an amazing propensity to redefinition by individuals and local groups’ (Gosselain 2000). A potter’s technical behavior thus leaves room for choices both along functional and social or symbolic lines, creating multifaceted associations between technological styles and social identity.









Lungu Pot - Zambia - Private Collection











Galerie Ezakwantu

Southern African Tribal Art - African Art 


Central and Southern African Tribal Art


Art Africain      頂级菲洲艺术品中心     Afrikanische Kunst     Außereuropäische Kunst




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African Adornment - African Axes - African Basketry - African Beadwork - African Beer Cups - African Beer Pots - Colonial Figures - African Containers - Contemporary African Art - African Costume - African Currency - African Dolls - African Figures - African Hair Combs - African Headdresses - African Wigs - African Headrests - African Neck Rests - African Masks - Masques Africains - African Meat Platters - African Milk Pails - Miscellaneous Objects African Musical Instruments - African Jewelry - African Jewellery - African Pipes - African Shields - African Snuff  Spoons - African Snuff Bottles - African Spoons - African Ladles - African Staffs - African Status Objects - African Stools - African Thrones - African Tobacco Bags - Central African Weapons - Southern African Weapons - North African Weapons - Other Weapons - Zulu Imbenge Pot Covers






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