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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Mayan Cylindrical Vases : Babilonia Style Mayan Polychrome Cylindrical Vessel
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Babilonia Style Mayan Polychrome Cylindrical Vessel - PF.5627
Origin: Honduras
Circa: 300 AD to 900 AD
Dimensions: 6.625" (16.8cm) high x 5" (12.7cm) wide
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: UAE
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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 vessel is clearly one such example. An absolute masterpiece of vase painting, a shaman is depicted in the midst of what is almost certainly a hallucinogenic trance. Seen seated, wearing a fabulous headdress, he holds a scepter or rattle in one hand and a bird in the other. Black dots decorate the scene, including his dark, wide pupils. The space in between the two scenes of the shaman is filled with a spectacular pattern of rings and stars against a black background. This design might suggest the psychedelic visions seen by the seated shaman and perhaps hints at his intoxicated powers. Originally, it would have been used for consuming a Mayan concoction made of cacao and chilies, perhaps drunken during ritual ceremonies. Discovered in a tomb, this masterpiece was as important to the deceased in the next world as it was in this one. - (PF.5627)


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