240645 - Old Terracotta African Mambila pot - Cameroon.


Old African Terracotta pot from the Mambila, Cameroon.
Beautiful Mambila pot from Cameroon.
The character is anthropomorphic. The style is interesting. Please also note the tones of the coloured pigments. The pottery is in very good condition, with little damaged from used, see the photo's
Size are 32 cm in diameter and 24 cm high.
This Mambila pot is from the mid of the 20th century and purchased in my private collection in 2013, with a certificate of authenticity.

This is a very finely crafted terracotta pot, handmade by a potter among the Mambila peoples of Southern Nigeria / Northern Cameroon (the Tikar Plain) Africa. Very little has been written about these highly decorative clay pots.
The pot features 14 figures with long arms standing on a baked ring. This is related to the "Ga'anda Cult" and the shrines where these pots were often placed. According to the religious beliefs of the mambila, "Mbirhlen'nda" is the spirit considered best able to protect and maintain health and prosperity. The dense application of small clay grains to mbirhlen'nda can be sculptural equivalents. However, they may refer more literally to the skin diseases that the spirit is said to inflict on those who disobey the codes of Ga'anda behavior and morality.
The Mambila people of Cameroon create highly detailed, expressive pots that appear as figurative sculptures that also function as these pots made to be filled with substances such as water, food or medicine. In addition, they can also be filled with spiritual elements such as souls, life energy or healing powers, which indicates that they have a symbolic status. They are also called 'soul vessels'. In this respect they may be related to ancestor worship.