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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Mayan Bowls, Plates and Vessels : Mayan Polychrome Vessel
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Mayan Polychrome Vessel - PF.5750
Origin: El Salvador
Circa: 300 AD to 900 AD
Dimensions: 4.75" (12.1cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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The unusual paintings that decorate this vessel represent a bird, maybe a hummingbird, in flight, in pursuit of a flower. The flower is seen arching over, the red pistils emerging from the petals as if the antennae of an insect. Opposite this scene, on the other side if the container, is an abstract symbol of black lines as if their shadows. Red paint is utilized to frame the scenes against the pale orange hue of the fired terracotta. Perhaps the most unique feature of this vessel is the blue/gray pigment utilized for the bird and the flower as well as two decorative lines beneath. While the symbolism of this vessel remains mysterious, we can easily appreciate the beauty and simplicity of the hummingbird. This scene seems to have been taken from off our back porch. It is basic and everyday, yet is worthy of being memorialized on this vessel. Sometimes, real beauty is prevalent in the most mundane events. However, we have to take the time to nitice and appreciate what we might otherwise overlook in our busy lives. After all, it is the mundane that make up the majority or our existences. - (PF.5750)


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