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  • Beaded Doll (Ham Pilu)
  • Beaded Apron
  • Beaded Apron
  • Beaded Apron
  • Elephant Mask
  • Man's Prestige Hat (ashetu)
  • Face Mask
  • Male Royal Ancestor Mask
  • Kuba Belt
  • Kuba Belt
  • Kuba Belt
  • Sash with Triangular Pendant
  • Hat (Mpaan)
  • Hat
  • Beaded Coronet
  • Beaded Coronet
  • Beaded Coronet
  • Female Twin Figure
  • Royal Slippers
  • Divination Tapper
  • Beaded Crown (adenla)
  • Diviner's Bag
  • Seated Female Figure
  • Fertility Figure
  • Small Bag
  • Doll
  • Bride's Apron
  • Bride's Apron
  • Ndebele Doll
  • Ndebele Doll
  • Ndebele Doll
  • Dance Staff
  • Dance Staff
  • Married Woman's Apron
  • Gala Blanket
  • Child Figure
  • Wrap Skirt
  • Diviner's Headdress
  • Man's Wedding Apron
  • Lidded Vessel
  • Lidded Vessel
  • Lidded Vessel (Beer Pot)
  • Beaded Panel
  • Beaded Panel
  • Beaded Panel
  • Beaded Panel
  • Beaded Panel
  • Beaded Panel
  • Beaded Panel
  • Beaded Panel
  • Beaded Panel
  • Beaded Panel
  • Man's Back Tie
  • Beaded Panel
  • Beaded Panel Pin
  • Doll
  • Woman's Tobacco Bag
  • Woman's Purse
  • Woman's Belt
  • Woman's Apron
  • Child Figure
  • Bridal Walking Stick
  • Child's Apron
  • Wedding Cape
  • Married Woman's Belt
  • Young Matron's Dress
  • Koranic Amulet
  • Beaded Earflap
  • Beaded Earflap
Lidded Vessel

Lidded Vessel


Zulu People
South Africa
Beer Pot (ukhamba)
20th Century
Clay, animal fat, soot
Gift of Rodney D. McGalliard
1995.28.80

In Zulu society beer made from sorghum is an important ritual offering for the ancestors and it is also a refreshing, nutritious beverage. Women and men create coil-woven pot lids, imbenge, that serve either as a stand for a ceramic vessel, ukhamba, or a gourd drinking bowl. The act of offering beer, and serving beer to family and honored guests afterward, is a means of acknowledging the presence of the ancestral spirits and the importance of their wisdom in guiding the lives of their descendants. Bead colors and patterns are specific to various Zulu groups. The blue, pink and green beaded imbenge, for example, is a color combination identified with the Zulu of Msinga, called isishunka.

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