Bowl with Figures, Ocheogwu Shrine

11008168-1994_004_785_Apa_ARC.tif

Title

Bowl with Figures, Ocheogwu Shrine

Keywords

Container, ceramic

Date

late 19th-early 20th Century

Context

West Africa, Nigeria, Benue River region
Igbo

Medium/Dimensions

Clay
11 7/8 x 11 7/16 in. (30.2 x 29 cm)

Object Number

1994.004.785

Description

These vessels are from northeastern Igboland, in Nigeria. Bowls of this type are shrines called ocheogwu, which means "pot of medicine." They were installed in gardens or near the entrances to the homes of blacksmiths and diviners. Perched on the rim of this ocheogwu shrine are sets of male/female pairs. Not all ocheogwu shrines contain figurative images. However, if divination (a process that seeks to foresee events and garner hidden knowledge) reveals that the deity of the shrine wishes one, vessels like these will be created. The figures are therefore the potter's personal interpretation of the deity's request. Called ntekpe, or "children of the shrine," the figures serve as guardians of the bowl's contents. The vessels were used to hold purified water, sometimes mixed with medicines. The water was obtained from rivers and streams associated with the deity to whom the shrine was dedicated.

Credit Line

Ex coll. William S. Arnett

Exhibits/Publications

Art of Nigeria from the William S. Arnett Collection, Michael C. Carlos Museum, October 15, 1994 - January 2, 1995|
Five Continents-Nine Millennia, Atlanta Hartsfield Airport, International Concourse E, March 1995 - November 1996|
The Art of Collecting: Recent Acquisitions at the Michael C. Carlos Museum, Michael C. Carlos Museum, November 8, 1997 - January 4, 1998|
Spirited Vessels: Creation and Ritual in African Ceramics, Michael C. Carlos Museum, February 7 - April 11, 2004|
Divine Intervention: African Art and Religion, Michael C. Carlos Museum, February 5 - December 4, 2011
Marcilene K. Wittmer and William Arnett, Three Rivers of Nigeria: Art of the Lower Niger, Cross, and Benue from the Collection of William and Robert Arnett (Atlanta: High Museum of Art, 1978), 109, number 256.|
MCCM Newsletter, December 2003 - February 2004.

Rights

© Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University. Photo by Michael McKelvey.
This image is provided by the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University, who retains all rights in it. This image is made available for limited non-commercial, educational, and personal use only, or for fair use as defined by United States law. For all other uses, please contact the Michael C. Carlos Museum Office of Collections Services at +1(404) 727-4282 or mccm.collections.services@emory.edu. Users must cite the author and source of the image as they would material from any printed work, but not in any way that implies endorsement of the user or the user's use of the image. Users may not remove any copyright, trademark, or other proprietary notices, including without limitation attribution information, credits, and copyright notices that have been placed on or near the image by the Museum. The Museum assumes no responsibility for royalties or fees claimed by the artist or third parties. The User agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Emory University, its Michael C. Carlos Museum, its agents, employees, faculty members, students and trustees from and against any and all claims, losses, actions, damages, expenses, and all other liabilities, including but not limited to attorney’s fees, directly or indirectly arising out of or resulting from its use of photographic images for which permission is granted hereunder.

On View

No

Citation

“Bowl with Figures, Ocheogwu Shrine,” Michael C. Carlos Museum Collections Online, accessed June 3, 2020, http://carlos.digitalscholarship.emory.edu/items/show/8817.

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