chapter  10
5 Pages

Banya: A Suriname slave play that survived

An ethno archaeological survey of the modern potters in the village of S in southern Bnin, indicated that all of the ceramic artisans were female. Female ceramicists explained that there were prohibitions both against men creating ceramic vessels and young boys receiving the restricted knowledge about pot-making acquired by young girls. Edna Bay notes a historic precedent for older women controlling ceramic industries in southern Bnin during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and using their monopoly of ceramic industries to secure profit and positions in the Dahomean court. Leland Ferguson has noted that, in a few instances, colonoware pottery little different from culinary wares has been found in archaeological contexts suggestive of its use in ritual activities. Ritual pottery is also made by specialists, who only manufacture a limited scope of forms out of the entire range of often elaborate ritual forms.