H x W x D: 51.5 x 49 x 50 cm (20 1/4 x 19 5/16 x 19 11/16 in.)
Bamenda, Grassfields region, Cameroon
Early-late 20th century
Like most African pottery, this vessel for storing maize beer or palm wine was built by hand without the use of a potter's wheel. Because the clay is porous, the vessel kept liquids cool. The frog motif in relief below the rim is a symbol of abundance.
A male potter built this vessel. Among the Nsei, male potters produced elaborate vessels and decorated wares, such as small dishes and pipe bowls for wealthy men and chiefs. Women potters primarily made vessels for domestic needs.
Large deep, dark-colored oval shaped vessel with abstract frog motifs placed in low relief around the vessel's shoulder. The rim and neck are attached to the vessel by a series of triangular shaped straps.
William Wright, New York, -- to 1982
From the Earth: African Ceramic Art, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., May 17-October 9, 1983
Freyer, Bryna and Edward Lifschitz. 1983. From the Earth: African Ceramic Art. Exhibition brochure. Washington, D.C.: National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, p. 7, no. 5.