Pottery

Production date
Unknown
Country
Papua New Guinea
State/Province
Morobe
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Object Detail


Description
Pottery Bowl - earthenware, GURANIANG: The meat vessel has little neck and is characterised by the addition of two modelled clay forms representing animal or bird heads, arranged on opposite sides of the rim and projecting over the edge.
Classification
CH classification INDIGENOUS CULTURES Melanesian & South Sea Islander pottery
Maker
Production place
Measurements
H.130 x Dia.255 mm
Media/Materials description
Earthenware
History and use
In some of the Azera villages in the Markham Valley, men specialise in making pottery. In the past, pottery was considered important in terms of exchange with neighbouring groups. Today, there is an increasing local demand for Azera pots, especially with certain neighbouring groups allowing their pot-making skills to die out.

Any man, given motivation and showing promise, can become a potter and gain status within his own community. Older men renowned for their pot making can be called master craftsmen; as well, younger men who display creativity in successfully combining a variety of imaginative decorative non-traditional elements to the traditional forms are also respected. With expected high standards and the demand for clay vessels as exchange items, the quality of pots has been maintained.

In addition to the importance of pottery in trade and bride price payment, it also figures strongly in the ritual and customs of the Azera. For instance, there are taboos surrounding the gathering of clay; the casual handling of certain vessels by outsiders is frowned upon and certain pots are used in funeral arrangements.

The Azera name pots according to size, function, shape and decorative elements, with about five broad categories produced. This particular pot is called a gur aniang, with aniang meaning meat. Used for cooking both meat and vegetables, the body is basically the same shape as that of the common cooking pot. However, the profile of the neck and rim differs in that the meat vessel has little neck and is characterised by the addition of two modelled clay forms representing animal or bird heads, arranged on opposite sides of the rim and projecting over the edge.

Uploaded to the Web 27 May 2011.
Registration number
E11023

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