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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Mayan Cylindrical Vases : Mayan Polychrome Cylindrical Vessel
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Mayan Polychrome Cylindrical Vessel - PF.5621
Origin: El Salvador
Circa: 300 AD to 900 AD
Dimensions: 7.375" (18.7cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: UAE
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Originally, this container would have been used for the consumption of a Mayan concoction made from chilies and cacao. Much like some believe ancient spirits continue to haunt the earth long after their death, sacred objects continue to retain their spiritual powers, accumulated through centuries of reverence, long after the civilization that created them fades into oblivion. This object is one such example. A wide central band, depicting an ornately garbed figure alternating with a linear abstract stepped motif, is framed by two narrower bands, both containing a stylized face and a similar abstract stepped design. The entire vessel is painted in beautiful red, orange, and black hues against the soft yellow of the clay. Both the crowned figure of the central bands and the stylized mask of the other bands are feathered. The seated figure, perhaps a shaman, holds some sort of rattle or staff. Both the figure and the mask border on the abstract. There is a beauty in this style greater than a mimetic, naturalistic style. The artist manipulated the form to arrive at a new level greater than the natural world, bordering on the heavens. - (PF.5621)


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