Terracotta water pot "Isiongo"

195 €

Kenya, early 20th century, private collection from Finland.

The Kabras (called also Kubras or Kabarasi), are a subtribe of the Luhya people of Kenya. They reside in Malava that is in the Kabras Division of Kakamega District, which is neighboured by the Isukha, Banyala, Tsotso, and the Tachoni. They raise and keep livestock as well as farming maize, sugar cane and other crops. The exact origin of the Luhya people is currently disputed, but there are historians who believe that the group came from Central and West Africa and migrated to their present-day location by way of the so-called Great Bantu Migration.

Kabras clans were named after the heads of the families. They include Avasira, Avatali, Abawande, Abamutama, Basonje, Abakhusia, Bamachina, Abashu, Abamutsembi, Baluu, Batobo, Bachetsi, and Bamakangala. Along with 17 other Luhya subtribes, the Kabras constitute 14 percent of the Kenyan population, making the ethnic group the second largest in the country, next to the Kikuyu. Before the colonial era, the Kabaras were under the rulership of Nabongo Mumia, the king of the Wanga. They were represented by an elder in his Council of Elders. The last known elder in the king's council was Soita Libukana Samaramarami. The Kabaras are said to have originally been Banyala.

Beautiful narrow necked clay pot (called Isiongo) are made by a Kabras female potter and used by women for storing water. Exceptional condition. Age-related wear and minimal scratches. Dirt, dust and soil. Size approx. 23,0cm x 22,0cm x 22,0cm. Weight c. 1911g.