Lozi Lidded Bowl
The word Lozi means ‘plain’ in the Makololo language, in reference to the Barotse floodplain of the Zambezi on and around which most Lozi live.
Origin: South Africa
Approx Age: 1st half 20th Century
Dimensions cm: 19 diameter x 14 tall
Ref. Number: 1853
A stunning Lozi bowl with a great fitting lid from Zambia in Southern and Central Africa. Decorative bowls like this one were used by the Lozi people of Zambia for storage. A lidded bowl with a decorative lizard for a handle on the lid and a zigzag decoration around the top and base. This would be used for storage of food, or as a meat platter for serving meals on an everyday basis. A beautiful utilitarian piece in really good condition for its age, this has been waxed to preserve it at some point in its life as photos show.
Provenance: UK private collection
The word Lozi means ‘plain’ in the Makololo language, in reference to the Barotse Floodplain of the Zambezi on and around which most Lozi live. It may also be spelt Lotse or Rotse, the spelling Lozi having originated with German missionaries in what is now Namibia. Mu- and Ba- are corresponding singular and plural prefixes for certain nouns in the Silos language, so Murotse means ‘person of the plain’ while Barotse means ‘people of the plain.
Lozi society is highly stratified, with a monarch at the top and those of recent royal descent occupying high positions in society. The monarch or Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) is known as Mulonga, and Lozi society tolerates little criticism even of an unpopular Litunga. Criticisms of a Litunga by a foreigner are treated as criticisms of the Lozi nation as a whole. The Lozi are not separated into clans, unlike most African ethnic groups.
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