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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'This is what pots look like here': ceramics, tradition and consumption on Mafia Island, Tanzania
Authors:Wynne-Jones, Stephanie
Mapunda, Bertram B.B.ISNI
Year:2008
Periodical:Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa (ISSN 1945-5534)
Volume:43
Pages:1-17
Language:English
Notes:biblio. refs., ills., maps
Geographic terms:Tanzania
East Africa
Subjects:pottery
crafts
archaeology
History, Archaeology
Mafia Island (Tanzania)--History
Ceramics
Link:https://doi.org/10.1080/00672700809480456
Abstract:The Mafia archipelago, off the southern coast of Tanzania, is home to a thriving tradition of ceramic manufacture and use, as part of a more general repertoire of small-scale craft activity on the islands. As such, the archipelago is unusual for the Swahili coast, where cheap imported vessels have mostly replaced locally-produced ceramics for cooking and serving food. Recent ethnoarchaeological fieldwork carried out in the archipelago has examined the production of these ceramics, particularly in relation to the distinctive coastal tradition which is recreated here. Although the vessel types can be seen to be directly descended from earlier types found along the coast, the potters themselves are immigrants and originally learned to make very different vessels, using different potting techniques. This paper presents the results of the fieldwork, exploring the reasons for the stylistic choices made by the potters and the creation of a recognizable ceramic tradition in a multi-ethnic context. The ceramic tradition is linked to place and to the market for the ceramics, rather than to the identity of the potters, and it is suggested that this might relate to the distinctive coastal cuisine. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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