Figurative Vessel

11008426-1994_004_707_Apa_ARC.tif

Title

Figurative Vessel

Date

20th Century

Context

West Africa
Jen or Kwa

Medium/Dimensions

Clay
20 3/8 x 11 7/8 in. (51.8 x 30.2 cm)

Object Number

1994.004.707

Description

Vessels called ku'chan exemplify the transformation of utilitarian pots into ritual vessels through figuration: a face, hands, and genitals have been applied to this vessel. Ku'chan are used by Jen and Janjo communities residing in the Benue Valley region of Nigeria. By pouring offerings of beer and ground sprouted corn (evident on the surface of this vessel) over the pot, it is hoped that a benevolent spirit will take up residence within and secure prosperous game hunting for male Jen hunters. While female potters make ku'chan, it is men who interact with them in rituals. Nevertheless, because Jen men rely on women to make the vessels, women play a role in facilitating human interaction with the spirit world.

Credit Line

Ex coll. William S. Arnett

Exhibits/Publications

Art of Nigeria from the William S. Arnett Collection, Michael C. Carlos Museum, October 15, 1994 - January 2, 1995|
Spirited Vessels: Creation and Ritual in African Ceramics, Michael C. Carlos Museum, February 7 - April 11, 2004
Marcilene K. Wittmer and William Arnett, Three Rivers of Nigeria: Art of the Lower Niger, Cross, and Benue from the Collection of William and Robert Arnett (Atlanta: High Museum of Art, 1978), 106, number 250.

Rights

© Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University. Photo by Michael McKelvey.
This image is provided by the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University, who retains all rights in it. This image is made available for limited non-commercial, educational, and personal use only, or for fair use as defined by United States law. For all other uses, please contact the Michael C. Carlos Museum Office of Collections Services at +1(404) 727-4282 or mccm.collections.services@emory.edu. Users must cite the author and source of the image as they would material from any printed work, but not in any way that implies endorsement of the user or the user's use of the image. Users may not remove any copyright, trademark, or other proprietary notices, including without limitation attribution information, credits, and copyright notices that have been placed on or near the image by the Museum. The Museum assumes no responsibility for royalties or fees claimed by the artist or third parties. The User agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Emory University, its Michael C. Carlos Museum, its agents, employees, faculty members, students and trustees from and against any and all claims, losses, actions, damages, expenses, and all other liabilities, including but not limited to attorney’s fees, directly or indirectly arising out of or resulting from its use of photographic images for which permission is granted hereunder.

On View

No

Citation

“Figurative Vessel,” Michael C. Carlos Museum Collections Online, accessed September 21, 2018, http://carlos.digitalscholarship.emory.edu/items/show/7665.

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