African Art
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery

Anthropomorphic Vessel

ca. 5th–14th century

Terracotta

12 × 7 × 7 in. (30.48 × 17.78 × 17.78 cm)
Gift of SusAnna and Joel B. Grae
2010.6.190

Calabar terracottas include vessels of varying shapes, along with headrests, stylized figures, and pots in abstract human forms like this one. The precise function of these vessels cannot be determined because of illegal excavations that have destroyed any scientifically recorded context, but it is thought that they may have been placed at burial sites as offerings to the deceased.

Geography: 
Calabar, Nigeria
Status: 
On view
Culture: 
Kalabari
Period: 
5th–14th century
Classification: 
Containers - Ceramics
Provenance: 

William J. Jenack Auctioneers, Chester, NY; SusAnna and Joel B. Grae, New York, to 2010; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.

Bibliography: 

“Acquisitions,” https://artgallery.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/Pub_Bull_acquisitions_2010.pdf (accessed 2012).

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.