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5959 Triangle Town Blvd
Unit 2179
Raleigh, NC 27616 United States 919.264.7387
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$ 4,990

Ukhamba: Beer Drinking Pot (Zulu People, Southern Africa)

Origin South Africa
Period 1920-1949
Materials Hand crafted from clay, with amasumpa, ukufusa and wax finish; coil method construction.
Dimensions
W. 18.5 in; H. 14.5 in; Diam. 18.5 in;
W. 46.99 cm; H. 36.83 cm; Diam. 46.99 cm;
Condition Good. excellent shape
Creation Date 1940
Description The Zulu people are part of the Nguni, an agrarian, homesteading culture living in Southern Africa. Within many factions of Zulu culture, both the phenomena of beer consumption, and the crafting of ceramics, are integral to their belief system. This pot is known as Ukhamba, and the libation consumed from it is Utshwala, a local sorghum or millet beer which is physically nutritional and relatively low in alcohol content. Utshwala is served during many Zulu social events, including weddings, funerals, change-of-life rituals and other gatherings whereby ancestors' spiritual guidance is sought.

At such enactments, the drink is offered to ancestors in one of these ceramic pots, which, by custom, is passed along among all present. The Ukhamba pot is intentionally designed so to facilitate its holding with both hands. Along with meat and herbal incense, and by tradition, it is placed in the Umsamo, a typically darkened room within the household where sacred objects from past generations are securely kept. The Umsamo is aesthetically linked with shade, coolness, and darkness, a space which the ancestors prefer. When the libation is presented to a cultural elder in the Ukhamba, an honored member of that elder’s family ensures the ceremony is rendered in alignment with cultural tradition, then securely returns the pot to its shaded space.
Styles / Movements Art Pottery, Modern, Tribal
Patterns Abstract, Contemporary/Modern, Geometric, Handmade, Textured, Traditional
Lead Time Ready to Ship
Lead Time Details 1
Product Type Unique
Dealer Reference Number ZBP-0017
Incollect Reference Number 467506
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