Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

ceremonial beer pot
  • unknown Ndebele maker
  • ceremonial beer pot, late 1800s–1996
  • Where object was made: Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
  • pottery, paint, incising
  • Object Height/Diameter: 22.5 x 18.5 cm
    Object Height/Diameter: 8 7/8 x 7 1/4 in
  • Gift of Sue Schuessler
  • Not on display
  • 2007.0774

This is a globular pot with a short neck. An incised zigzag along the shoulder separates the red from the green band. The neck is decorated with blocks of red and green. The lines are accented with small white dots.

Beer brewed for the ancestors is put in this pot for ngoma ceremonies. When the spirit comes, the pot is brought to the spirit who drinks from it. It is also used for mixing medicines, some for gogo spirits and some for khulu spirits, which the healer eats by putting one's mouth to the foam in one case or dipping one's hand in the foam and bringing it to the mouth in the other case.