Essay On African Pottery

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In Africa, pottery began in 6000 B.C. Throughout history, African ceramics has been not only used for utilitarian purposes but also for spiritual and esthetic purposes. Different regions of Africa were influenced by the ceramics of other cultures. For example, in 75 AD african pottery was influenced by the importation of roman pottery and they actually ended up taking over the pottery business and most pots in Rome were made in Africa. Another example of the influence of another culture's ceramics was in the 600s AD when Africans began to use glass and metal glazes after importing ceramics from China. The potters in Africa were mostly women, however there were a few men. They used various techniques. They would either build things by hand or with a mould. The most common pieces of pottery that they made were water jugs or pots to cook in. Another pot that they made that I found cool had bark woven around the outside which would cool the water through evaporation when it was soaked in water. After building the pot and setting it out to dry, they would cover it in maybe bark or cow dung and fire it on an open fire. They would try to achieve a shiny finish by firing. In the Congo, they sometimes would splatter the pots with dyes after firing to add color to the pot. In addition to pots, they would also make figures such as people out of clay. I thought it was interesting that the skill of pottery is …show more content…

They used clay not only to make pots but also to make bronze sculptures. They would start with a clay shape and put wax on the outside of the clay, then they would layer more clay on top of the wax. Next they would fire the sculpture to melt the wax and pour the bronze into the clay mold that was left over. Lastly they would break the clay and be left with the bronze statue. Many of these are probably statues of gods and kings. Many of the pots were made to honor the gods in the yoruba

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