Sacrificial pot

Melanesia. New Caledonia. Belep Island. 19th century. Terracotta. Height: 22 cm. Diameter: 23 cm. Inv. 12 883. Donated by R.P. Lambert.

Varnished container ornamented with totemic figures (lizard, pigeon, turtle, snake, human). Used in the ritual cooking of the first yams, a symbol of the ancestor, man and the clan. There are only a few decorated examples in the world.

This one was collected on Belep Island in the north of New Caledonia, by Father Lambert, a Marist missionary in New Caledonia in the late 19th century who came from Queyrac in Gironde. The Kanak people invoked their ancestors in the cooking vapours.

Sacrificial pot (c) mairie de Bordeaux