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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Mayan Bowls, Plates and Vessels : Copador Style Mayan Polychrome Bowl
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Copador Style Mayan Polychrome Bowl - PF.5801
Origin: El Salvador/Guatemala/Honduras
Circa: 300 AD to 900 AD
Dimensions: 3.25" (8.3cm) high x 8.625" (21.9cm) wide
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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A painted frieze of eight seated figures, alternately painted red and black decorates the flaring exterior rim of this vessel. They all wear extravagant headdress with long feathers that protrude from the back of their heads and project forward over their faces like an antenna. They all hold out their open hand as if about to grasp something. Ear ornaments and decorative bracelets are clearly visible on each figure. Meanwhile, a frieze of turkeys, a vital staple of the Mayan diet, fills the interior rim of this bowl. Painted with red tail feathers and necks, they appear to hold a black object in their mouths that must represent a stylized worm. The bottom of the bowl is decorated with a cross shape painted in red with small red circles filling the four segments. Perhaps the most unique feature of this bowl is the bottom. Painted red, the tapering base of the container has been decorated with indented slanting lines. This motif creates a spectacular design and achieves a wonderful sense of movement. There must be some significance between these two varied motifs. How do the seated men, perhaps shaman, and the turkey relate to each other? Found inside a tomb, buried along side a ruler or important dignitary, this vessel, probably used in ceremonies, was as essential in the afterlife as it was in this world. - (PF.5801)


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