African potters--primarily women--handbuild a variety of vessels that they embellish with beautiful colors, designs and motifs before firing them at low temperatures. Containers made for daily use hold water or serve as cooking utensils. They also make vessels to be used in special ceremonies or that become part of an assemblage of objects placed in a shrine.
This bowl may have held food or a condiment such as palm oil. The spiders decorating the rim are associated with divination throughout the Grassfields region. They represent wisdom and are associated with the earth and the ancestors.