Ewe pottery in philosophical and cultural context

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The problem of the study was that, the rich philosophical and cultural components of pottery have not been understood and appreciated due to the fact that the concepts and values of Eυe pottery have not seen adequate documentation whereby information about the numerous vessels that are created can be easily accessed. The focus was on the practices of indigenous pottery in their philosophical and cultural milieus in order to chart a new course for unveiling and documenting pottery to the benefit of Eυes in particular and Ghanaians in general. The objectives of the study are to identify and discuss indigenous Eυe pottery tools, materials, methods and uses in selected centres in the Volta Region to find out the philosophical implications of Eυe pottery and to the extent to which Eυe pottery express Eυe culture. The qualitative research methodology was used in the study. These included descriptive and explanatory. The main data collecting tools were observation and interview. Data from both primary and secondary sources were obtained from observations and interviews conducted on the field. Inclusive were those from books, magazines and the internet. The research found that, Eυe pottery is predominantly traditional and it is still in the hands of women who use available and convenient local tools and materials to make pots, bowls and local stoves. Taboos still control some aspect of pottery such as clay digging. Round/circular shapes are still made because potters maintain that they are balanced when used in fetching water and heat is evenly distributed when placed on the local stove for cooking. Philosophically, pottery containers are regarded as vessels that hold life sustaining substances and therefore this idea is translated into the making of pottery. Further, pottery is considered beautiful when red clay slip is smeared on the surface and rendered smooth and shiny. Again, proverbs are used to portray values in relation to pottery making. Finally the transmission of pottery skills are from mother to child through observation and imitation. It is v suggested that, Eυe potters will adopt less backbreaking forming methods to reduce the incidence of waist pains. The youth should be encouraged to take up the pottery industry from their aging mothers. For the sake of continuity, pottery should be introduced in schools where there is abundance of clay to equip children, the youth with skills necessary for making pots in their respective communities.
A Dissertation submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Art Education.