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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.5648
Origin: El Salvador/Guatemala/Honduras
Circa: 300 AD to 900 AD
Dimensions: 3.5" (8.9cm) high x 8.875" (22.5cm) wide
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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The most interesting feature of this bowl is its bottom. Diagonal ridges spiral outward counterclockwise from the center, merging into the smooth, flaring rim of the vessel. This creates an effect that is both round and linear. None of this is visible from the inside of the bowl which curves inwards completely unrelated to the exterior. Needless to say, the painted decorations on the bowl match the sophistication of the pottery. A frieze of stylized turkeys, a staple of the Mayan diet, marches around the interior rim. Painted with red tails and necks, they carry in their beaks what appears to be a black worm, depicted in the form of a forking branch with a berry on either end. Two rows of numerous miniature turkeys adorn the exterior body of the bowl. Clearly, this bird has a symbolic significance, perhaps relating to sacrificial rituals, directly related to this vessel. Discovered in a tomb, buried alongside a fallen ruler or important dignitary, this bowl was as essential for the afterlife as it no doubt was in this world. - (PF.5648)


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