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Vessel Lid

Accession Number
1998/1.123B

Title
Vessel Lid

Artist(s)
Akan

Artist Nationality
Akan (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
19th century

Medium & Support
bronze

Dimensions
10 5/8 in x 9 7/16 in x 7 1/2 in (27 cm x 24 cm x 19 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Susan B. and John F. Ullrich


Subject matter
Kuduo, cast brass vessels created by Akan-speaking peoples of Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire, have been made in various forms ranging from simple open vessels to those with intricately decorated lids. These vessels were used in a variety of ways that connected them to their owner's kra, often translated as 'soul' or 'spirit'. Often owned by elite individuals in the community, kuduo were also used to hold important items like precious beads, gold nuggets, and gold-dust. Upon the death of an imporant person, their kuduo was sometimes buried with them. Some vessels were also placed with blackened ancestral stools, where offerings of food and drink were made.

References Cited:
McLeod, Malcolm D. 1981. The Asante. London: British Museum Publications Ltd.

Physical Description
A circular cast metal vessel lid with a figural scene on top. Two seated male figures face each other, while both hold staffs and one wears a type of headdress. Between the figures sits a snake and a bowl. The top of the lid is also decorated with an axe, a crocodile or turtle, and spiral designs. 

Primary Object Classification
Metalwork

Primary Object Type
vessel

Collection Area
African

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form. Keywords
ancestors
ceremonial vessels
funerary objects
shrines (structures)
social status
souls

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved