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Soul Vessel (terracotta)

Soul Vessel (terracotta)


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Soul Vessel (terracotta)

HSC181679 Soul Vessel (terracotta) by African School; diameter:43 cm; Private Collection; (add.info.: tradition of burying the dead twice; in period between the two burials, a soul vessel is used to lock up the dead person's soul to prevent it from wandering and causing harm;); Photo © Heini Schneebeli

Media ID 31713334

© Heini Schneebeli / Bridgeman Images

Bowl Bowls Burial Container Ritual Object Superstition West Africa


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EDITORS COMMENTS
This print showcases the intricate and ornate Soul Vessel, a terracotta masterpiece created by the African School. With a diameter of 43 cm, this private collection gem is steeped in tradition and cultural significance. In West Africa, there exists a fascinating superstition surrounding burial practices - the tradition of burying the dead twice. During the period between these two burials, it is believed that a soul vessel must be employed to lock up the deceased person's soul. This precautionary measure ensures that their spirit does not wander aimlessly and cause harm. The Soul Vessel featured in this photograph serves as an essential container for this ritualistic purpose. Its decorative elements are mesmerizingly beautiful, showcasing skilled craftsmanship and attention to detail. The bowl-like structure exudes an air of mystique while simultaneously honoring tribal customs from Cameroon or Nigeria. Heini Schneebeli has expertly captured every intricate detail of this remarkable artifact through his lens, allowing viewers to appreciate its historical significance and artistic brilliance. Bridgeman Images presents us with yet another fine art treasure that transports us into different cultures and traditions.

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