Skip Navigation

 Museum Explorer

Tools and technology in Africa

Shiny pots

Height: 30.000 cm
Height: 30.000 cm
Height: 30.000 cm

AOA 1901.11-13.50, 51;AOA 1971.Af38.2

Shiny pots

From: Uganda
Date: late 19th - early 20th century AD

In many parts of Africa pottery is made in the dry season, when the heat of the sun can be used to dry the clay. It is then fired in an oven to make it extra hard.

These beautiful shiny black pots have been made in the shape of gourds. Gourds are the dried skins of large vegetables. Before firing the pots were rubbed hard with a black mineral called graphite (which is also used to make pencils)  to make them dark and shiny. They would have been made for the royal family, or someone else very important.