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Like the Toussaint L’Ouverture portrait pitchers, face jugs made in the nineteenth-century American South are difficult to interpret. Also known as "ugly jugs," "voodoo pots," and "monkey jars," these objects may seem to be a form of early racist imagery. Yet many of the earliest examples were in fact made by African-American potters in the Edgefield District of South Carolina. These face jugs compare closely to some African ceramic face vessels with similar bulging white eyes and oversized facial features.

African-American potters—and certainly the white potters who later copied the face jug form—may not have retained the original religious or symbolic meaning of the art form. These powerful objects nonetheless speak eloquently to the survival of African cultural traditions in early America.