early 1900s


Diameter: 17.1 cm (6 3/4 in.); Overall: 35 x 15.6 cm (13 3/4 x 6 1/8 in.)

The Mary Spedding Milliken Memorial Collection, Gift of William Mathewson Milliken 1992.69



Women were and still are responsible for the making of terracotta pots among the Mangbetu. It seems, however, that men added the figurative elements that embellish examples like the one shown here. The depicted head with its elongated skull and halolike coiffure imitates the cranial deformation and hairstyle fashionable among female Mangbetu royalty at the beginning of the 20th century. Typically used for wine, many vessels were also explicitly made for sale to foreigners.

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