Women Potters: Transforming Traditions

Women Potters: Transforming Traditions

by Moira Vincentelli

Hardcover(New Edition)

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It is often claimed that women were the first potters. While this may or may not be the case, the earliest pottery techniques are still used today in many parts of the world, largely by women. This beautifully illustrated book brings to light the often uncelebrated contributions women potters make to their cultures and describes the practical details of their craft.

Moira Vincentelli proposes that a women’s tradition in ceramics is one in which pottery making is a gendered activity intimately connected with female identity. Such work is easily taken for granted as mere everyday household equipment with no status as art. Vincentelli argues, however, that value is not intrinsic to an object, and a simple cooking pot or water jar can take on high importance if the significance for owners and users is considered--water out of a particular jar is said to taste sweeter, and a cooking pot is often buried with its owner, or broken when someone dies.

Vincentelli guides the reader through these traditions continent by continent with beautiful, detailed maps and stunning color photographs from around the world. Central to her argument is the proposition that, far from disappearing, as is so often claimed, these traditions are adapting and accommodating to new conditions. Often potters are the bearers of cultural identity in an increasingly globalized world. This book will appeal not only to those interested in ceramics, but also to those with an interest in non-western traditions, women’s studies, material culture, archaeology, and social anthropology.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813533810
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Publication date: 01/28/2004
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 8.88(w) x 11.10(h) x 0.92(d)

Table of Contents

2Women's Pottery Traditions in Europe17
3Women Potters and Gender Roles in Africa41
4Women Potters and Gender Roles in Asia67
5Women Potters and Gender Roles in Oceania89
6Women Potters and Gender Roles in the Native American Tradition99
7Woman Potters and Gender Roles amongst Caribbean and African-American Peoples121
8Women Potters and Gender Roles in Mexico and Central America133
9Women Potters and Gender Roles in South America153
10Women's Traditions and the Figure in Fired Clay175
11New Ways and New Opportunities188
AppendixTechniques and Tools217

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