Pottery is one of the ancient arts .Throughout history, each civilization has its own shape of pottery that represents its own culture. The kabyle regions are well known with this craft and have good craftsmen, too. Potteries are very useful and people use them to facilitate their daily life needs. There are different kinds of potteries; some are used for cooking, some for storing food and others for decorating.
A long time ago, in every kabyle house, we find Ikufan; they are very big jars that are made of clay and fixed on the floor and the wall of the living room. They are about two meters high and one meter in diameter. They have an opening in the belly in order to take food from them. People used them for storing figs and cereals for winter .They are still seen in some old houses in the Djurdjura. Also, the craftsmen make jars which have a short neck and a big belly with a handle on each side. They are used for keeping water .In summer, it is nice to drink out of a jar because it’s so fresh and tasty. In addition to that, they make plates, cups, etc with different shapes and sizes either for using them for cooking or decoration .All theses potteries are painted and then decorated with kabyle symbols like curved, broken lines and triangles which are the most common decoration in the kabyle’s pottery. Each symbol has its own meaning.
Nowadays, the pottery has received a modern touch since the pottery makers always try to modify the shapes and colours of potteries to keep this craft alive. Thus, it is rarely to find an Algerian house without at least one traditional plate or jar.
Written by ARAB Sabrina.