Barakat Gallery
Login | Register | User Services | Search | Newsletter Sign-up
Barakat Gallery
HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Art of the Dominican Republic : Taino Greenstone Trigonolitos Depicting a Skull
Click to view original image.
Taino Greenstone Trigonolitos Depicting a Skull - DC.1879
Origin: Dominican Republic
Circa: 1100 AD to 1500 AD
Dimensions: 7" (17.8cm) high x 5.5" (14.0cm) wide x 11" (27.9cm) depth
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Stone
Condition: Extra Fine

Location: United States
Currency Converter
Place On Hold
Ask a Question
Email to a Friend
Previous Item
Next Item
Photo Gallery
Click photo to change image.
Print image
Among the most abundant of artifacts attributed to the Pre-Columbian indigenous Taíno peoples, who populated the Bahamas, Antilles, and Lesser Antilles, zemi three-pointer stones are revered for their unusual triangulated shape, cone- shaped apex and elaborate patterns. Zemis are often defined as everything which possesses magical powers, including deities and even skeletal remains. In fact, souls of the deceased were also identified as zemis. Although many three-pointers are undecorated, this green stone sculpture is carved with an anthropomorphic image on the anterior and circular, maze-like motifs resembling reptilian coils on the posterior end. These characteristics are indicative of a Type I “wrapped snake” three-pointer, however what is particularly interesting is that most three-pointers that are incised with reptilian coils are often paired with a reptilian face. In this case, the face resembles that of a human with a wide, opened mouth that seems tilted upwards, and large hollowed out eyes. The mouth and nose that are tilted to resemble Type III three- pointers. His chin is also ornamented by the reptilian coils, which extend around the perimeter of his face as well.

This green three-pointer combines human and animal traits, which convey not only an aura of strength but also a trance-like state aroused by a shaman’s hallucinogens. The function of such artefacts is still hotly disputed. Many Taíno scholars conclude that three-pointers were buried as fertility charms in conucos or manioc mounds and even in shrines with other zemis. These figures might also be physical articulations of the Taíno mythological legacy. Yet, there remains much doubt over the use of less intricately decorated three-pointers as fertility charms. Letters written by Christopher Columbus suggest that these stone sculptures were created to fertilize the land and encourage fertility amongst its inhabitants. Today, these sculptures offer a unique insight into the religious lives of the Taino and impress us with the boldness of their design. - (DC.1879)


Home About Us Help Contact Us Services Publications Search
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy Security

Copyright (c) 2000-2021 by Barakat, Inc. All Rights Reserved - TEL 310.859.8408 - FAX 310.276.1346

coldfusion hosting