The online destination for artifacts, culture, and antiquities. Gallery by appointment only.

Nyakusa Beer Pot


Nyakusa Beer Pot

Zambia, Africa  mid- 20th century

ex Private NY Collection

ex Jacaranda Gallery, New York, NY


Beer was an essential part of the Zulu diet and life, as well as showing ‘honlipha’ or paying respect to the ancestors, which they believed were present during whenever they drank beer. Made from fermented maize or millet made by women. The women also made the vessels that the beer was prepared in as well as kept in. The smaller pots such as this one were made of fine clay and water. Using a series of layers or coils to achieve the proper symmetry and shape, decorated, then re-fired and polished with ash or fat mixtures after being ground smooth with pebbles . The black finish was deemed to please the ancestors to ensure spiritual protection.  This example is decorated with half moons and incised ridges that surround it in its entirety. A high gloss black ash patina covers the base.

Updating ..
Your cart is currently empty.