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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » April 23, 2008
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Traditional and Modern Tunisian Ceramics
April 23, 2008   
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The Ethnographic Museum in Wroc³aw is hosting an exhibition of traditional Berber pottery and more modern Tunisian ceramics based on medieval Arab designs. On show are 150 items in total, including examples of Arabic calligraphy, bird cages, traditional dress, posters and photographs.

The most space is devoted to Berber pottery from the town of Sedznan, where the last traditional pottery workshops in Tunisia are still in existence. The local craftsmen make the pots by hand, dry them in the sun and fire them using a bonfire. The simple decoration used on the pots is reminiscent of that used on ancient Egyptian pottery. The Sedznan locals make pots that they need for everyday life but, ever mindful of tourists, also produce salt cellars and ashtrays. Some pots are decorated with pictures of storks, which winter in the area and are a huge tourist attraction.

The Berber pottery is displayed together with items made in workshops mainly by people with some artistic training. These items, based on medieval Arab designs from Andalusia, are popular with tourists. This is why the Berber potters are changing their traditional designs to ones in keeping with modern tastes and producing vases, plant pots and bowls. They have simplified the traditional Arabic and plant decorative motifs and done away with the Arabic calligraphy. Instead they use animal motifs in the decoration and sometimes even human figures and openwork patterns.

Until June 8, Ethnographic Museum in Wroc³aw, 111/113 Traugutta St.
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