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HOME : African & Tribal Art : African Pottery : Djenne Terracotta Pyriform Vase
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Djenne Terracotta Pyriform Vase - PF.2450
Origin: Central Mali
Circa: 12 th Century AD to 14 th Century AD
Dimensions: 10.25" (26.0cm) high x 5.625" (14.3cm) wide
Collection: African
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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This beautiful ceramic vase was created by skillful artisans in the republic of Mali. At the time of its creation the empire of West African Mali was at its zenith. The famous chronicler Ibn Battuta, a Berber theologian from Tangier who spent a year in Mali, writes that he was overcome with amazement over the wealth of the Mansa Musa court of Mali, whose grandeur at the time was equal only to that of the Mongol Empire. Djenne, one of the prospering cities at that time, also reaped the bounty of the Nile and Bani Rivers, since it was strategically located at the confluence of these two waterways. An accessible and plentiful gift of the rivers was the ceramic grit, a material that was worked by local artisans in a skillful and sensitive fashion. The result of these efforts was the creation of terracotta pottery that is truly distinguished in the world of ceramic art. Here we see a striking example of the Djenne artistry in this handsome vase. With its graceful long neck, pyriform body and delicately incised wide rim we experience a vase whose fine proportions truly please the eye. Our tactile senses are also stimulated by the feel of the vessels smooth, highly burnished reddish- brown surface. Truly a sensory delight, this lovely vase connects us in a most spirited manner with a civilization whose wealth and splendor at one time were quite legendary. - (PF.2450)


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