Sasak Pottery has its origin from the Lombok Island in Indonesia. Distinct in language, dress and customs from their Balinese neighbours to the west and the Sumbawanese to the east, The Sasak people are linked by history and culture to the ancient civilizations of Java.

Scattered across the island’s three districts are 20 pottery villages, the largest of which are Banyumulek in the west, Penujak in Central Lombok and Masbagik Timur in the east.

In Lombok Island, nearly every household is engaged in the business of making and selling pots. Their earthenware has evolved over generations into the craft of exceptional variety and complexity.

The range of pots made was determined by the everyday domestic needs for water and food storage vessels, cooking pots and serving utensils. There is a specific traditional type of vessel for just about every conceivable household use, including special pots for use in rituals and festivals. Because they are entirely utilitarian, these vessels are made in precisely the same way again and again and alter little from year to year. Form and function are inseparable. Both the meaning and name of a vessel are intrinsically linked to its role in daily life or ritual.

In Lombok, making vessels from clay is women’s work. Their skills have been passed down from generations to generations. To the Sasak women, there is always a pot for every need and each was appropriately shaped for its purpose. An expert potter is judged by her faithful execution of the form, her flawless firing technique and her ability to complete the greatest quantity of wares.

In Lombok Island, from dawn to dusk, and sometimes into the night, potters are always busy making the traditional earthenware vessels that are the mainstay of their lives.

 

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