DGB sites and the "Godaliy" : Funnel pots and ceremonial walling

Presented by Gerhard Muller-Kosack - April 2004

Please also visit the two previous presentations at http://www.mandaras.info/Research.html for information on earlier developments of this research

This web presentation focuses on the third field session of the Mandara Archaeological Project at the University of Calgary, investigating the DGB complex of northern Cameroon. It was carried out by Gerhard Muller-Kosack in the Gwoza Hills of NE Nigeria during January and February 2004. Ethnographic research among the Mafa within the DGB area had indicated a past relationship between the peoples of the Gwoza Hills and the DGB complex. The Mafa bordering the Gwoza Hills generally refer to the Dughwede, Chikide-Chinene, Guduf and Zelidva as Godaliy (see map). This new research was to compare the DGB type of stone walling and pottery with that of the so-called Godaliy and to see whether a relationship to DGB finds could be verfied.

The results, presented here, suggest that the diagnostic type of the DGB pottery can indeed be linked to modern pots of the peoples of the Gwoza Hills.

The DGB pots share with those of Gwoza extremely small openings. However, they differ in shape. Although both are funnel pots, the DGB funnels are bowl mouthed while the Gwoza ones have conical funnels. The Gwoza funnel pots are ritual beer pots for men. Funnel pots are often beer pots in the northern Mandara mountains but they do not show the characteristic small openings. The Mafa don't use funnel pots at all. This along with the Godaliy tradition of the Mafa points to an ethnohistorical link between the Gwoza Hills and the DGB sites.

Two of the unbroken DGB funnel pots were ritually positioned inside a chamber of DGB-2 but we do not know whether they were beer pots or in which possible context they might have been used.The Gwoza pots are ceremonial beer pots for a man's deceased father and grandfather. They are kept in a house shrine behind an outer ceremonial stone wall and the inner granary area of a compound. Their physical similarities, architectural positioning and ritual use throw light on the possible function of the DGB funnel mouth pots as male ancestor pots.

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