Collection Artwork
vessel for serving beer (Izikhamba)
20th century
blackened terracotta
overall size: 12 3/8 x 13 x 13 in.
Gift of Bill and Gale Simmons
South Africa, Zulu, Africa
2000.1.24

Object Label

Zulu beer pots, such as the two exhibited here, clearly communicate ideas of the domestic and economic realms. Beer, a staple Zulu food, provides considerable nutrition, but also a socially and ritually necessary medium for communication and cooperation among kin. The decorative patterns on the vessels differ according to region and reflect Zulu interests in decorative arts and their unique visual culture.

From the exhibition: African Pots and Gender (November 14, 2009 – January 3, 2010)

Ongoing Research

Research on our collection is ongoing. If you have resources you’d like to share, please contact Associate Curator Rebecca McNamara.

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African Pots and Gender
Exhibition
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Pattern by Abby Fuess ’18
Inspired by the exhibition Other Side: Art, Object, Self
The Tang Pattern Project celebrates the Museum’s 20th anniversary. Organized by Head of Design Jean Tschanz-Egger, past and current Tang Design Interns created patterns inspired by the Museum’s exhibition and event history.