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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Mayan Cylindrical Vases : Mayan Carved Black Cylindrical Vessel
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Mayan Carved Black Cylindrical Vessel - PF.5628
Origin: El Salvador
Circa: 300 AD to 900 AD
Dimensions: 9" (22.9cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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Painted black, this vessel exudes a mysterious energy, an ancient intangible potency that is as radiant today as it ever was. Much like we can conceive of spirits haunting the earth after their bodily demise, ancient spiritual powers, accumulated after centuries of reverence, continue to inhabit certain sacred object long after the civilization that created them has faded away. This cylindrical container, originally used to consume a Mayan concoction made from cacao and chilies, is certainly one such object. The majority of the exterior is decorated by a series of carved vertical lines resembling the pattern of corduroy. A band of incised glyphs frame this abstract motif. One of the glyphs clearly depicts a human face crowned by a long swirling headdress that extends in front of his head. Another resembles some sort of a beast, perhaps a snake, with a long hooked tongue. 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.5628)


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