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Memory Jar

Decorative Arts and Design

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Memory Jar

Artwork Details

Artist/Maker

Unidentified American Maker, Rome, Georgia

Date

early twentieth century

Medium

Hand-built clay with encrusted ceramic shards and found objects

Accession #

1997.37

Dimensions

Please contact the Museum for more information.

Location

On View - Stent Family Wing, Skyway, Gallery 404

Description

This embellished memory jug relates to ritual grave decoration practices that originated in the Kongo region of Africa. Memory jugs are similar to Kongo funerary objects in their use of select personal items and materials such as seashells, mirrors, glass, white ceramics, and children’s toys. In Kongo belief, the selection of white, reflective, or shiny materials represented the watery realm between this life and the next. Some of these objects, therefore, served not only as grave decorations but as guides for spirits moving into the afterlife.

Credit

Purchase with funds from the Decorative Arts Acquisition Trust

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