A West African Beer Pot Cover

Nigeria/Cameroon Borders, West Africa

1930's

Wodaabe Tribe

The beer pot cover is tightly woven with a design in blue, red, green and yellow with a blue and orange border. The cover is placed over a ceramic vessel to protect the beer which is brewed from millet.

The men and women of the semi-nomadic Wodaabe frequently spend many months apart while the men search for new pastures for the livestock; they come together for Gerewol, a very unusual courtship ritual when the rains have been good and time allows. The men spend many hours preparing themselves, dressing in brightly coloured costumes with beaded and feathered head dresses. Their faces are painted red and their lips and eyes carefully contrasted with black. Symmetry is particularly important and the make-up emphasises this quality. The men dance for many hours, widening their eyes and flashing their white teeth to seduce the women who then choose a partner. Beer is also drunk and would be protected by a cover such as this.

Provenance: Ex. Private Collection

S.1366/2701
Enquiries to: leonora@peterpetrou.com
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