The main scene repeated on both sides of
vessel is a representation of a winged
mythological creature. This kneeling figure,
possibly suspended in midair, appears to be
human, part bird. Flight fascinated the
as it has all mankind since the birth of time.
This is surely one of the earliest depictions of
man and bird together as one in Mayan art.
Perhaps he is a shaman dressed in a
costume. Perhaps it is a vision of a powerful
deity. This mysterious creature holds his arm
outwards, touching the decorative diagonal
that frames the scene. His other hand is
open, just below a series of concentric rings.
This could represent an abstracted bird. His
wing is elegantly portrayed with intricate
plumage. The lines of his feathers are
throughout the scene, heightening the
The graceful curves of the work are opposed
the straighter, angular lines of the figures
and legs. Series of dots and dashes mark
joins of the plumage. An abstract symbol,
possibly a basic glyph, is repeated across a
decorative band at the top. The inside lip of
vessel is marked with a row of zigzag
While the symbolism behind this piece has
lost over time, we have finally realized man’s
ancient dream to soar like the birds.