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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Masterpieces of African Art : Cross Rivers Terracotta Anthropomorphic Vessel
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Cross Rivers Terracotta Anthropomorphic Vessel - PF.5470
Origin: Calabar, Nigeria
Circa: 10 th Century AD to 11 th Century AD
Dimensions: 18" (45.7cm) high x 12.5" (31.8cm) wide
Collection: African
Medium: Terracotta


Location: United States
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Description
The great, bulbous body has a pedestalled end containing a bored hole in the center; a design that makes it easy to wedge into the ground. At the top of the vessel is an abstract head with a “crown” of thick bands arching from around the head to under the neck, simulating braided hair. The elongated face comes to a point nearly touching the lower portion of the neck. Thick striated curved bands serve both as handles and as arms of the figure with small hands. On the “chest” are three rows of double bands connected by four segments of double bands in an oval shape placed horizontally down the center. The vessel may have been used for a fertility cult, or perhaps as a burial offering. Simple in form, yet very powerful in effect, this vessel is a unique example of artistry that flourished in ancient Nigeria. - (PF.5470)

 

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