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Figure (Kronkrobale)

Artist/Maker: Ewe people (Ghana and Togo)

Date: 20th century
Medium: pottery
Overall: 22 5/8 x 11 1/4 x 13 1/4 in. (57.5 x 28.6 x 33.7 cm)
Classification: Art Works
Credit Line: Gift of Alan Potamkin
Object number: 2007.48.102
DescriptionInverted vessel forms serve as the basis for heads or half-figures placed on family ancestral altars to receive libations of millet greul. The purpose of the offerings is to insure fertility, health, and well-being for the family. There is also some reason to believe that these curious pot figures have something to do with ideas of rebirth as well as with honoring the dead. The figures are called kronkrobale, which means children of earlier times. Although attributed to the Ewe, such figures are also found among the Fon, just over the border in the Republic of Benin. Typically, the figure has a clear pot rim serving as a base, emphatic phallus, flipper-like arms held out from the body, additive facial features with open mouth and a pointed circlet or crown-like headdress.
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