Pre-Columbian, Mexico and Guatemala, Maya Lowlands, Late Classic, ca. 550 to 900 CE. A fine example of a blackware cylinder vessel with an incised decoration of two identical human/serpent creatures set against a background of tight, vertically incised lines. The incisions are all filled with a bright red cinnabar pigment. The serpents have horrific, anthropomorphic faces, with forked tongues representing an ancestor or god emerging from underneath large, hooked noses, each with three horns rising from their heads, and each wearing round, spool-like earrings. Their bodies are less detailed, each with a sinuous form and a border around it. Size: 6" W x 7.25" H (15.2 cm x 18.4 cm)
The types of figures depicted here are sometimes known as Vision Serpents. The serpent in Maya mythology was the vehicle for the sun and stars to travel across the sky. Serpents also lived in Xibalba, the Maya underworld.
Provenance: private Lexington, Kentucky, USA; ex. Dr. Raymond Thomas collection
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