Large, shallow blackened clay bowls with interior striations are used in cooking and for eating. Cooks use them together with a small double-sided wooden pestle to grind pepper and cooked vegetables like "garden eggs" (small eggplants) for soups. They are also used as men's eating bowls (pԑԑ in Nafaanra). Bowls with striated interiors are occasionally found on archaeological sites in the Banda area, but this particular blackened form was not common until the 20th century when it was introduced from areas to the south. Potters in the region began to produce the bowls for sale both locally and at regional markets. During the 1980s and 1990s, this became one of the most popular pots made for market sale. Ahenkro, 1986.
The clay pottery jars (sro chͻ in Nafaanra) used to prepare food vary in size. Round-based jars like these are used to boil yams and other starchy foods. They are supported by hearth stones as they sit on the fire. Their lower surface is often textured or surface-treated with maize cob roulette (visible on the largest pot on the right) which may make them easier to handle when full of liquid and food. Ahenkro, 1986.
In the foreground are two clay pots used to prepare soup. A soup pot (chiin sinyjͻlͻ in Nafaanra) has sharp-angled (carinated) shoulders and an everted rim. They are simply decorated with grooved lines above the shoulder, but otherwise plain. The larger one on the right has been blackened, a treatment that is not commonly seen on archaeological pottery from Banda sites. Ahenkro, 1986.
Small clay bowls (kpokpoo in Nafaanra) used by women for eating. The bowl on the left has been blackened. Blackened pottery is a fashion that became more common in the 20th century. Similar clay bowls from the 19th century and earlier found on archaeological sites are more similar in color to the bowl on the right. In earlier times, these bowls often had a pedestaled base, creating a flat rather than rounded surface on which they sat. Ahenkro, 1986.