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HOME : African & Tribal Art : African Pottery : Djenne Terracotta Pyriform Vase
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Djenne Terracotta Pyriform Vase - PF.2449
Origin: Central Mali
Circa: 12 th Century AD to 14 th Century AD
Dimensions: 13.5" (34.3cm) high x 6.375" (16.2cm) 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 Tanger who spent a year in Mali, writes that he was overcome with amazement over the a wealth of the Mansa Musa court of Mali, whose grandeur at the time was equal only to that of the Mongul empire. Djenne, one of the prospering cities at that time, also reaped the bounty of the rivers Nile and Bani, 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 pear-shaped body, long slender neck with incised bands, and small curved mouth we experience a vase whose fine proportions truly please the eye. Our tactile senses are also stimulated by the feel of the vessel's smooth, highly burnished reddish-brown surface. Truly a sensory delight, this lovely vase connects us in a most spirited manner with an African empire whose wealth and splendor at one time were quite legendary. - (PF.2449)


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