Painted Urns, Vessels and Jars
Before Asian inspired porcelain became popular, the sacred emblems of the orishas were first housed within decorated gourds (igbas). Due to their fragility, they were replaced with terracotta dishes, bowls and lidded vessels. Terracotta is abundantly available in Cuba and its diaspora and this tradition has been preserved, along with the practice of decorating each receptacle in the colors of the orishas. Here you will see some examples of traditional AfroCuban religious painted pottery. Each piece is painted by hand, using a variety of techniques and intricate designs.
Traditional vessels (yarara) for Asohano Osunege (left) Nanume Arara (front, middle) and Asohano Anofide (right).