back bounded-next cafe calendar-large calendar cart close coat-check collapse donate download elevators expand explore filter grid-view hamburger heart hours join link list-view location mail more next nursing-room phone print programs ramp restrooms right-arrow search share shop thumbs-down thumbs-up tickets up toilet heart-filled zoom Skip to Content

Vessel

African Art

Search and Share Tools

Vessel

Artwork Details

Artist/Maker

Bura Artist, Burkina Faso

Date

third–eleventh century

Medium

Terracotta

Accession #

2004.231

Dimensions

21 x 7 inches

Location

On View - Stent Family Wing, Skyway, Gallery 410

Description

Located along the Niger River in present-day Niger, Burkina Faso, and Mali, the ancient sites of the Bura culture have been excavated by researchers and found to include areas dedicated to burials and other rituals as well as zones used for habitation. Some of the most striking discoveries involved the unearthing of huge cemeteries such the one at Asinda-Sikka, where 630 terracotta containers similar to this object were found. The vessels had been buried with their mouths facing down, and many contained an iron arrowhead. Their placement marked the burial of human remains a few feet further down, and the containers took both figural and more abstract forms, similar to this object. The discovery of more abstract pots at sites of both ritual and domestic activity suggests that for the Bura culture, pots such as this one served multiple purposes.

Credit

Anonymous gift