If you are 15 and younger, chances are you’ve never seen or even heard of the amazing African clay water pots. Before you ask me what I’m talking about, think of it as a traditional refrigerator! A water pot was meant to keep drinking water cold and clean. Some of these pots were big enough to store 20 liters of water while the smaller ones could only contain 5 litres or less. A small lid made of grass or clay was placed over the top to keep insects and dirt out.
These pots were usually placed in the corner of the house or, in most rural places, the hut, where they were not in any trouble of being knocked - they break easily.
The art of making pots and other clay utensils is one of the oldest arts with a long history in Africa. Women usually made the pots. They rolled and pressed the clay into the shape of a pot. The outside of the pot was then smoothened with patterns engraved on it.
The clay pot was then baked in an open fire started with dried cactus leaves that left uneven colours on the baked pot. A neck was added to avoid any spills when carried from place to place, usually from the well to home.
Today, although some potters still make pots, they concentrate on making flowerpots and other things. Naturally, technology shoved our natural refrigerators out of the way. I wonder how many kids today would even go near a glass of water from a pot! It was simply the best, giving the water a taste I know for sure will never be surpassed!