West African (Mambila) Soul Vessels

   Figurative Vessel
  Figurative vessel, Mambila people

Featured is a large collection of one-of-a-kind pots made by the Mambila people, a small ethnic group who live on the Mambila Plateau in Cameroon and Nigeria, West Africa. This collection is from the Cameroon side. One highly intellectual description labeled them “pseudo receptacles,” but we take exception to this because the word “pseudo” means fake. It suggests these pots were not meant to contain anything.

Mambila Soul Vessel
Mambila soul vessel

Another called them medicine pots, but it does not appear they ever contained medicine. Yet another said they were wine pots, but it doesn’t look like they held wine either. The most apt description we can find identifies them as “soul vessels,” magical objects giving our ancestors a place to reside.

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