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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Mayan Cylindrical Vases : Mayan Copador Painted Cylindrical Vessel
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Mayan Copador Painted Cylindrical Vessel - PF.6191a
Origin: El Salvador/Guatemala/Honduras
Circa: 300 AD to 900 AD
Dimensions: 7" (17.8cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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This vessel exudes a mysterious energy, an ancient intangible potency that is as radiant today as the day it was fired. Much like we can conceive of spirits haunting the earth after their bodily demise, ancient spiritual powers continue to inhabit certain sacred object long after the civilization that created them has faded away. This cylindrical container is certainly one such object. Two bands of decorative glyphs along the top and bottom frame the central design of this painted vessel. Two black rings further emphasize the divide between the central register and the glyphic bands. A figure, repeated three times, fills body of this work. Pairs of thick vertical red stripes are interspersed in between, framing the king. The figure wears a decorative headdress, presumably made of feathers, and a belt related to the yokes worn by Mesoamerican ballplayers. In fact, this figure may represent a ballplayers. Other elements protrude from the yoke, seemingly a loincloth and palma and hatcha. Might this be a representation of a ballplayer? Perhaps it was an important ruler dressed as a ballplayer to lead one of the ceremonies that took place before and after the games? This masterful work of ancient Mayan pottery must have played a vital role in a long forgotten ceremony. Its importance is reflected both in its tremendous craftsmanship as well as the glyphs that adorn it. Found in the tomb of an ancient ruler or dignitary, this vessel was as essential to the ancient Mayan in the next world as it was in this one. - (PF.6191a)


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