What is the cultural significance of the face jug?

These jugs were found around North Carolina and Northern Georgia, dating back to the 1840s, throughout the Underground Railroad, and in gravesites in known slave areas. It is said that the daunting faces were meant to scare away the devil and other evil spirits, so that the souls of the departed could go to heaven.

Where and when did the face jug originate?

This distinctive type of ceramic face vessel first appeared in the American South in the mid-1800s. Jugs such as these are attributed to a small number of black slaves working as potters in the Edgefield District of South Carolina.

Where have face jugs been found in the US?

A ceramic jug found in Germantown, PA turns out to be an example of a significant 19th century protective relic and piece of art — a face jug — created by African American slaves and freedmen in the Edgefield District of South Carolina.

Who was the face jug most likely made by?

1860–80. Face jugs were made by African American slaves and freedmen working in potteries in the Edgefield District of South Carolina, an area of significant stoneware production in the nineteenth century.

Why were the face jugs used as grave markers for slaves?

Unable to read or write, slaves did not have tombstones to mark their graves, so they created ugly face jugs to mark the grave. Combining their African beliefs with their new found Christianity, the slaves believed the face jugs would scare the devil away and the deceased soul would go to heaven.

What were face jugs made of?

Decorative arts historians coined the term “face jug” to refer to a pottery type created by the African American enslaved community in the Edgefield district of South Carolina. The small vessel is turned stoneware with facial features — wide eyes and bared teeth — made of kaolin, a locally sourced clay.

What time period are face jugs known to have been made in?

We know that they were made from about 1860 to about 1880 or so, when they suddenly stopped being produced. We know that the form was appropriated by white potters in the 1880s.

What are memory jugs made of?

Typically, a memory jug container is made of ceramic, earthenware, or glass. The jug shape is ideal for mosaics because the small opening at the top makes it easy to cork and prevents dust from collecting on the inside of the vessel.

Where do Toby jugs originally come from?

The original Toby Jug, with a brown salt glaze, was developed and popularised by Staffordshire potters in the 1760s. It is thought to be a development of similar Delft jugs that were produced in the Netherlands.

What are the theories about what these jugs were used for?

These jugs were supposed to ward off evil spirits. A South Carolina potter, who can trace his ancestors to slavery, states that “the idea was that the face jug would be ugly enough to scare the devil away from your grave so your soul could go to heaven.”

Where do researchers believe the first face jugs were created?

In 1858 an event occurred that is now believed to have been the catalyst for the face jugs’ creation. That year the Wanderer, a luxury yacht turned slave ship, landed illegally on the coast of Jekyll Island, Georgia.

What is a memory bottle?

A memory jar is where you can keep happy memories in a safe place. Some people make one to remember all the things they’ve done in a year. Many others find it a useful way to help them deal with the loss of a loved one by writing down memories of them.