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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Casas Grandes Art : Casas Grandes Polychrome Pot with Two Guardians
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Casas Grandes Polychrome Pot with Two Guardians - PF.0891
Origin: Casas Grandes, Mexico
Circa: 1160 AD to 1260 AD
Dimensions: 4.875" (12.4cm) high x 8" (20.3cm) wide
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Style: Casas Grandes
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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In the region of what is now the vast desert of Northern Chihuahua there once existed a great cultural and trading center known as Casas Grandes. Raw materials such as seashells and tortoise shells were imported, stored, and later worked into jewelry and religious items by Casas Grandes artisans. A wide variety of distinctive pottery was made locally and traded for other styles from regions in the north, including the Anasazi from modern Arizona, via well-worn trails. The cities architecture and public works suggest the presence of an organized government. Similar to the Anasazi, this thriving indigenous society seemed to suddenly vanish, leaving behind nothing more than scorched buildings, deteriorating artifacts, and human and animal remains; frustrating clues for scientists to speculate over the rich cultural traditions of the Casas Grandes pueblo people and their sudden demise.

Like magical twins in a myth, two squatting men guard opposite ends of this fabulous vessel. Both wear elaborate body paint that makes them seem at one with the bold decoration of the vessel itself. One holds his hand over his eyes, as if scanning the horizen for enemies who would steal away the pot's enchanted contents; the other holds his hand to his mouth, as if calling out a warning. Ever vigilant as this pair is, it seems a shame to tell them that the pot is long- since empty. A remarkable piece that tells a magical story to those patient enough to listen. - (PF.0891)


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