Animals of all kinds appear frequently in Mayan
Art. Sometimes these creatures are denizens of
the natural world, the wildlife of the Mayan
Empire depicted with realism and humor. In other
instances, animals are shown in
anthropomorphic poses, imitating the actions
and foibles of men, as creatures in fable. Still
others are possessed of divine status, having
power over the fate of man and his universe.
This superb vessel depicts two engraved
representations of a divine monkey who appears
to be either speaking aspects of the natural
world into existence or as his portly belly
suggests, devouring them. The pictures are
separated by a column of further decorative
engravings. The Monkey deity carries himself
with enormous dignity, as if privy to the wisdom
of the ages. His upright position and
outstretched uplifted arms command an air of
authority, but we are also charmed by his
coiffure and simian grace.
The vase is further decorated by a ridge around
its circumference at the top third of the piece at
which point flaring emanating from, its terracotta
and black coloring and slightly convex base.
This item has been carefully restored since the
taking of the pictures on the website.