Mastery is subjected to learning, while learning is made available everywhere depending on how people explore it. Studies abound on traditional Yoruba pottery tradition with emphasis on pot making to marketing of several pottery vessels made in one town or the other, with little effort on the apprenticeship training systems. For many African cultures, a pottery vessel means more than just a “pot”. This paper therefore, identifies the historical significance of apprenticeship system in indigenous pottery profession as a reflector of the social-cultural life of the traditional Yoruba potters in Southwestern Nigeria. It examines the apprenticeship training system; mode of training, duration and graduation procedures among Yoruba potters. The paper reveals that most apprentice potters are usually the relations and neighbours of the master potters (daughters, sister-in-laws and friends), and pot making thrives where the apprenticeship training system is open to every individual who is interested in the art. The paper concludes and points to the fact that the decline status of pottery in some pottery towns today could be connected with the closed-door apprenticeship system adopted which does not allow “outsider” to learn the art.
Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it”, this statement is true of the traditional Yorùbá pottery and potters, in the sense that their work will be gone into extinction if adequate scholastic attention is not given. This paper therefore appraises traditional pottery art and artists. It focuses on the growth and preservation of Yorùbá pottery traditions and culture, through the various forms and vessels made of fired clay. The world of the indigenous Yorùbá potter is such a fascinating one; yet unpredictable because of the phases involved in the production processes. It also observes the techniques, styles and forms employed by potters from different parts of Yoruba nation. The paper further showcases some of the works of the traditional Yoruba potters that is still ongoing. In summation, the paper observes the challenges that may eventually send pottery art into extinction; as a result of the fewer apprentices that are engaged in pottery art practices