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Bruce Frank Primitive Art
208 W 83rd St NYC
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Ritual Vessel

Ga’anda, Nigeria
Early 20th Century

Provenance: Vianna Finch, New York

Terracotta vessels were an important part of the wider Ga’anda society. Often made by women artists, they served both as functional and sacred objects. Said to contain various kinds of spirits, theses vessels established links between people and the spirits. However, decoration differs heavily from vessel to vessel. Modeled to look like a human figure, a face appears at the top of the neck while hands and arms are displayed across the belly of the vessel. The striations and other decorations of the vessel’s “skin” communicates essential messages about social transitions, just like scarification patterns do on human bodies.

Ritual Vessel

Ga’anda, Nigeria
Early 20th Century

Provenance: Vianna Finch, New York

Terracotta vessels were an important part of the wider Ga’anda society. Often made by women artists, they served both as functional and sacred objects. Said to contain various kinds of spirits, theses vessels established links between people and the spirits. However, decoration differs heavily from vessel to vessel. Modeled to look like a human figure, a face appears at the top of the neck while hands and arms are displayed across the belly of the vessel. The striations and other decorations of the vessel’s “skin” communicates essential messages about social transitions, just like scarification patterns do on human bodies.