Six pots from South Sulawesi. In F.D. McCarthy, Commemorative Papers (Archaeology, Anthropology, Rock Art), ed. Jim Specht
The Australian Museum holds six earthenware pots, bought in Watampone (South Sulawesi, Indonesia) in 1937. They are terracotta in colour and decorated with deeply carved plant and geometrical motifs. This highly distinctive local style was developed by 1910 at the latest, and cannot be traced past 1937. A photograph and description published in 1921 suggest the prominent role of one woman. Several pots in this style, now held in European museums, bear inscriptions naming the potter responsible and giving the place of manufacture. A possible reading is suggested for the inscription on one of the Sydney pots. Taken as a whole, the pots represent the combination of an indigenous technique with a long history, Islamic decorative motifs and forms influenced by European models. This in turn reflects the historical and cultural circumstances in which they were made.