The multiscalar analysis of pottery traditions in south central Africa opens a new perspective on the study of ancient polities. Focusing on an area of central Africa known for the existence of great kingdoms, I show how past political entities have left lingering traces in the cultural landscape and, more specifically, in the pottery traditions. As ceramics are one of the major tools in the archaeological arsenal, the way they can be related to political structures is of interest to archaeologists around the world. Analysing the chaîne opératoire of living pottery traditions, at an individual and regional level, I characterize the geographic extent of a series of technical behaviours. These technical domains fit with other aspects of society such as languages or matrimonial strategies, but also with economic and political aspects such as salt making and distribution networks and past political entities. They are the materialization of resilient social spaces created by ancient political entities.