Black Pottery from the Peruvian Amazon

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About This Pottery

If you're looking for primitive pottery that's done some hard traveling  this is the place to find it.

Not every village in the Amazon rainforest has pottery maker, but a few do--maybe an extended family with everyone pitching in. Women throw the pots, girls polish the surfaces with smooth stones, while boys collect wood for the makeshift kiln which is usually just a campfire with a sheet of corrugated metal to hold in the heat.

The results are pots, bowls, and a few plates. The shade is black with a glossy sheen. No decorations; this stuff is meant to be used not admired. I've seen people cook with it, but mostly they use it to store food.kiln.JPG (28547 bytes)

I found this pottery on a black-water river not far from Iquitos, Peru. I left with a dozen or so pieces in the bottom of my dugout canoe. Pottery suffers when moving through the rainforest. Many were shattered, clumsy custom officials took their toll, but a few intact pieces found their way back to the states.

In the future I'll send this pottery up in cubic-meter boxes by ocean freighter. I probably won't stock it in the US, but drop-ship it to wholesalers.

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