Nupe Igbo Clay Terracotta Pot Nigeria
Nupe Igbo clay terracotta pots are traditional water containers used by the Nupe and Igbo people of Nigeria. These pots are made from locally sourced clay and are known for their durability and heat resistance.
The process of making these pots involves molding the clay into the desired shape, which is typically a spherical or cylindrical shape with a narrow neck and a wider base. The pot is then fired in a kiln at high temperatures to harden the clay and give it its characteristic reddish-brown color.
One of the unique features of Nupe Igbo clay terracotta pots is their ability to keep water cool in hot weather. The porous nature of the clay allows water to seep through the walls of the pot, which then evaporates and cools the remaining water inside. This makes these pots ideal for storing and transporting water in areas with hot climates.
In addition to their practical use, Nupe Igbo clay terracotta pots are also valued for their decorative qualities. Many pots are adorned with intricate designs and patterns, which reflect the cultural heritage of the Nupe and Igbo people.
Overall, Nupe Igbo clay terracotta pots are an important part of the cultural heritage of Nigeria and continue to be used today in both practical and decorative contexts.
A medium-sized container made out of clay decorated with face motifs in relief. ¬† This pottery is identified as a Nupe vessel. The Igbo people have also produced similar vessels. This crafted clay vessel was served as a container for water or other beverage. It comes with its base made out of leaves.
Number about 350,000 the Nupe have a long-standing reputation as makers of fine pottery and ceramic objects. Since they are mostly Muslim, their vessels almost always feature lovely incised decoration, without human images. Exceptionally, this one has an abstract or schematic human face. This could be seen as an influence from the Nupe neighbors or other groups from Nigeria such as the Tiv and the Ga'anda living in the border between Nigeria and Cameroon. The Tiv are a large group of more than one million people living in North-east Nigeria. They are famous for their wooden carvings as well as for their brass figures and their ceramics. Ritual vessels in the form of a head and those with a large open mouth were found in the Ga'anda territory, too. Without any field information on this example, such attribution would remain hypothetical.
The artworks of the Nupe are highly respected, even though the variety of objects they produce is very small. The limited nature of Nupe art is due to the strict influence of Islam, which has controlled the social and religious life of the Nupe for at least 250 years. Muslim law forbids the use of art objects that possess human figural elements, considering them profane. The Nupe, unable to express themselves in such a fashion, instead developed a magnificent ability to decorate utilitarian and marriage-related objects with intricate geometric incising and abstract features. They craft extraordinarily carved calabashes and wooden bowls, fashion stunning terra cotta vessels and pipes, and weave exquisite, highly-prized textiles. Thus, the Nupe are among the most superb potters in Africa. The popularity of Nupe art with serious collectors is a testament to their skills and their unique adaptability to social upheaval.