X99.26.28 Pot lid

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Object Name: Pot lid

Artist: Unknown

Cultural Group: Woyo peoples

Place of Origin: Democratic Republic of the Congo and Angola

Date: Late 19th-early 20th century

Dimensions: H: 5.70 cm, DIAM: 16.50 cm

Materials Used: Wood

Credit Line and Accession Number: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Museum Purchase with funds provided by Jay T. Last. X99.26.28

Category:
Description

Among the Woyo peoples of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, women used specially carved wooden lids on the ceramic pots in which they served food to convey certain kinds of messages to their husbands. The designs on the lids formed a visual language of proverbs and moral stories through which a wife could express fundamental aspects of a successful marriage or relay her displeasure with her husband’s behavior. As husbands ate communally with other men, a wife’s grievances were made public, signaling that household harmony was a community issue. The bird at the center of one pot lid may refer to the threats of a neglected wife to leave her husband.

Gallery text, Intersections: World Arts, Local Lives, 2006

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