The inhabitants of the mountainous Kabyle region along the Mediterranean coast in northeastern Algeria are farmers primarily. They are also superb artists noted for their jewelry, textiles, mats, basketry, pottery and house murals. In North Africa, wheel-thrown pottery, which is made by men, dates from the 7th century B.C. when the Phoenicians introduced the potter’s wheel to the Algerian coast. Handbuilt pottery, which is made by women, is an older, probably indigenous tradition that dates back 2000 years before the birth of Christ. To this day, Kabyle women coil and decorate pottery with beautiful, geometric designs for their own household use and for sale. Kabyle women handbuild vessels of various sizes and shapes for holding water, milk and oil, for cooking and eating food and for making oil lamps. This vessel with the head of an animal (possibly a camel) may have been made for visiting foreigners.
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