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Liquid is poured into the kundika through the spout and out by the mouth; whereas the kendi is filled from the mouth and the liquid is poured out the spout.

Other differences between the kundika and the kendi, are the length of the neck and the shape of the spout.

The kendi was treasured enough in these two countries to become an heirloom that was passed down through the generations.

Drawing after Sumarah Adhyatman, Red earthenware kendi with a bulbous body and round base, a short spout and a wide mouth with everted rim. It was so revered in Indonesia and the Philippines that it served as furniture accompanying the dead to their grave.

Although it is unknown how the transmission took place, a generally accepted hypothesis is that around 2,000 years ago sea routes between India and China were established for trade.

Ships initially plied the coastline between the two destinations because of limited shipbuilding techniques and navigation skills and a lack of knowledge about the cycle of the monsoon.

To drink from a kendi, grasp the neck with one hand; place the other on the base for support if desired; hold the vessel away from the body, point the spout towards the mouth and slowly tilt it to start the water flowing.

Identifying the origin of and influences for the kendi is plagued by several problems. A cache of unglazed buff-coloured kendi found recently in Sisophon Province, northwestern Cambodia, near the border of Thailand and dated to around the sixth century by the National Museum of Phnom Penh, revealed a previously unknown form (Plate 3).

India has long been considered the source for the form, and China for the potting technology. (left) Encased inrattan and used for wedding ceremonies. Although the site has already been looted, a substantial number of kendi were retrieved and can at least provide stylistic comparisons.

Within Southeast Asia, the kundika is far rarer but it does appear in scenes carved in relief on the walls of the ninth century Mahayana Buddhist temple of Borobudur in central Java.

The Buddha sits cross-legged with a kundika on his left, and devotees present offerings on his right (Plate 1).

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