Developing pots from indigenous Acholi ritual pottery for use in contemporary space
Adong, Sanday Rhodest
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Acholi indigenous pots, like any other indigenous pots elsewhere in the world, were and are still important to the community. The pots served several functional uses that supported daily chores (domestic use) such as; storage of water, grains, brewing, cooking, serving food and ritualistic ceremonies such as initiation rite, birth rite, naming, marriage, death, appeasement of the spirit(s) among others. Though the Acholi community still takes pride in their traditional cultural values and practices, confinement of the Acholi people in Internally Displaced peoples (IDPs) camps for over 25 years which was further worsened by factors associated with the modem ways of living; Western cultural ideologies such as religion, education and technology led to the decline of indigenous pottery use. Yet the community has neither fully adopted the contemporary cultures nor discarded the traditional practices. The study set out to design and produces pots inspired by indigenous Acholi ritual pots for contemporary space. Specifically, the study analyzed the factors that influenced the production of pots among the Acholi community, designed pots from selected Acholi ritual pottery for specific contemporary spaces and produced pottery ware inspired by Acholi ritual pots for use in contemporary spaces. The significance of the study was to link the Acholi culture to contemporary life by adding to the existing body of literature, helping the community to improve their livelihoods through production, use and sale of pottery items and providing the policy makers with another avenue of empowering the communities and ensuring sustainable development. Using qualitative study approach and ethnographic research design, ten respondents were purposively selected and data was collected using in-depth interviews, participant observation, photography and focus group discussion. The collected data were analyzed thematically, and emerging patterns were isolated and subjected to studio practice. Three types of pots were identified and used as inspirations to design and produce four projects for use in the Hotel reception. The study findings indicated that production was influenced by the needs of the community, and designs were created from what the community believed in and practice and those pots can be redesigned to fit contemporary spaces. The study recommends that, policy makers should support the production indigenous material such as pottery as an alternative source of income, modern developers and urban planners should integrate indigenous product s such as pottery in development, awareness creation among the communities to embrace production of indigenous material culture and mass production investment by government to enable communities produce in large scale.