Asante cosmetic pots

This cosmetic pot is from the Asante people of Ghana. The hammered pattern on the brass pot includes an image of the mythical ‘sankofa’ bird looking backwards while it flies forwards. ‘Sankofa’ in the Twi language means ‘go back to fetch it’ or ‘learning from the past to moveforward to the future’. The bird represents the idea of looking to history while moving forward into the future, symbolizing wisdom. The pot contained ‘shea’ butter, a moisturising cream for the skin, made from the nuts of the ‘Bassia parkii’ tree.

© Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives

Accession reference: Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives, Ea9128

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