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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Mayan Cylindrical Vases : Mayan Babilonia Painted Tripod Cylindrical Vessel
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Mayan Babilonia Painted Tripod Cylindrical Vessel - PF.6080
Origin: Honduras
Circa: 300 AD to 900 AD
Dimensions: 6" (15.2cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: UAE
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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 objects long after the civilization that created them has faded away. This cylindrical container is certainly one such object. Raised up on three small feet, the painted decoration of this vessel depicts a seated figure of noble rank, presumably a shaman or king. The man is elegantly dressed in a fantastic feathered headdress. He wears ear spools and bracelets, both decorative elements and signs of rank. His costume is completed by a series of feathers and cloth that emerge from the back of his skirt. He holds something in his hands, perhaps a pouch of some sort. Might medicine be contained within? Are we witnessing a shaman in the midst of a ceremonial rite? What was the meaning of this mysterious decoration? Unfortunately, without the aid of glyphic texts, comprehension of this design will remain elusive. 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.6080)


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