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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.
Chinese blue and white porcelain kendi with a bulbous body, tall, narrow neck, flange around the mouth and a mammary spout. Despite its widespread popularity, versatility and longevity, the history of the kendi is fraught with unanswered questions, lacunae in knowledge of development and distribution, and the lack of a standardised definition of the form, which gives rise to misconceptions.
Decorated with peony scrolls on the body, a stylized floral motif and religious symbols on the spout, and a band of lotus leaves around the base of the neck and the lower body. The kendi is defined in this article as a vessel with a round body, tall neck, mouth, a spout on the shoulder and a flat base.
Stopovers at coastal ports were necessary to replenish supplies of water and fresh food and they often lasted six months waiting for the monsoon to change direction and bring favourable winds to continue the voyage.
It is distinguished from other pouring vessels such as a jug/pitcher or flagon by the absence of a handle.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).A tenth century ink drawing from Cave 17 at Dunhuang, showing a kundika beside a meditating monk, testifies to the presence of the form in northwest China at that time, and suggests that it was a ritual vessel associated with Mahayana Buddhism.
(End Note i) Not surprisingly, the kundika was also produced in Japan and Korea where the same strain of Buddhism as in northwest China was practised.
The renowned ceramic centres in Thailand, China, Japan and Vietnam produced ritualistic kendi made of fired clay and covered with an unctuous greenish glaze or painted with symbolic motifs.