Journal of
Fine and Studio Art

  • Abbreviation: J. Studio Fine Art
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6524
  • DOI: 10.5897/JFSA
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 16

Article in Press

Shifting uses in pottery: Nkore men who must cook and women who can’t cook

Philip Kwesiga*, William K. Kayamba and Prof Susan Melrose

  •  Accepted: 22 July 2020
While it would seem usual for men to cook in Western societies, this was almost taboo in traditional Nkore. No Nkore man would ever admit (verbally) to having cooked, as revealed in this summarised answer when the question was put to most people during the study conversations: “Omushaija omu Banyankore tateeka – kureka yaaba ari omuhuuru” (In Nkore, a man doesn’t cook, unless he’s a bachelor). Why, then, did Nkore men become cooks? The article brings to light the processes which prevail in Nkore, in diverse social historical situations regarding the culture of the dominant classes and traditional pottery production and use skills, enables this article to project aspects of Nkore systems in which elements of power and control are expressed. It was widely believed in traditional Nkore that married men should wait to be served by women whenever the food was ready. However, due to changes in domestic space (formal education) that became pertinent in Nkore social structures during the twentieth Century, men could no longer remain in the background when the area of contention and centre of power was being contested. Similarly, women who reside in urban centres, whether married or single, now control the food by employing housemaids or ‘house-girls’, in Ugandan terms. The increase in the use of such domestic help in Nkore and Uganda meant that housewives are no longer in control of the contested space and most of them arguably cannot ‘cook’. Moreover the challenge is worse when they are confronted with using local pots for cooking. Indeed the number of people in Nkore involved in pottery making had decreased since there were no new substantive recruits taking on the practice

Keywords: pottery, gendered roles, pottery use, education practices, social class, traditional roles play