Storage Jar with Flared Rim
DateMid 20th century
DimensionsWork : 7 3/4 x 10 3/4 x 10 3/4 in. (19.68 x 27.31 x 27.31 cm)
Credit LineHope College Collection
Label The Yoruba traditionally used ceramic vessels to store a wide variety of dry goods and liquids, including grains, nuts, seeds, water, palm wine, cooking oil, and textile dyes. Some Yoruba ceramic vessels are purely utilitarian and exhibit few decorative features. Other vessels—like this jar—are more obviously artistic, featuring dramatic shapes and elaborate surface designs. Most of the ceramic vessels used in Yoruba culture were made by women, and knowledge of the art was typically passed on within families from generation to generation. However, as opportunities for girls and women to pursue education and employment outside the home increased during the 20th century, the number of female potters declined. Ceramic production has also been negatively affected by the introduction of vessels made from other materials such as metal and plastic.