Millet Beer Bowl

Type of object
Beer stein
Technique and material


21 x 26 cm

This djandju-koksu bowl was made for millet beer by the Fali, a small ethnic group in northern Cameroon, in 2000.

Called bolo, this drink is made by fermenting red sorghum, a kind of millet originally from Ethiopia. Among the Fali, making bolo is usually women’s work, and requires different utensils and receptacles: a mortar and grindstone to crush the grain, mats for drying it, a pot – called pêhla – for cooking the mash, and pottery water vessels – called djongo – for fermentation. For serving, bowls like the one shown here are essential. The host uses the bowl to mix water into the mash in front of the guests. When ready, the beer is served immediately. These ceramic bowls also play a significant role at meetings and ceremonies, where drinking millet beer often symbolises conviviality and ancestral traditions.