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Taino Stone Zemi Figural Amulet

Lot 0107A
Pre-Columbian, Caribbean / Florida, Taino people, ca. 1000 to 1500 CE. An intriguing male zemi figural amulet, hand-carved from a mottled black-and-white stone, with abstract and enigmatic features. The figure is depicted kneeling atop an integral circular plinth with bent legs, delineated male genitalia, a portly abdomen, sinuous arms held tightly against his chest, and planar shoulders. Recessed eyes, a jutting jaw, a petite nose, and knob-shaped ears define the minimalist visage with a small circular cap on top. The figure is embellished with areas of meticulously-rubbed red cinnabar and is biconically drilled through the neck, allowing it to be suspended and worn as a pendant. Custom museum-quality display stand included. Size: 1.5" W x 4.25" H (3.8 cm x 10.8 cm); 4.875" H (12.4 cm) on included custom stand.

Taino art is comprised of many religious objects associated with the worship of "zemis" - a term referring to deities, ancestors, or earth spirits believed to be inhabited by powerful spirits. Owners of zemi figures traditionally honored them with offerings of food or precious gifts. Each Zemi had its own identity and name, personality, distinct characteristics, and powers.

Provenance: private New York, New York, USA collection; ex-private L. Paul collection, New York, USA, acquired from D. Purcara in the 1980s

All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.

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Surface wear and abrasions commensurate with age as expected, small nicks to base, ears, and cap, fading to some carved features, and minor fading to red cinnabar embellishments. Light earthen deposits throughout.

Buyer's Premium

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Taino Stone Zemi Figural Amulet

Estimate $1,000 - $1,400Jul 19, 2018
686 S. Taylor Avenue Suite 106
Louisville, CO 80027
United States
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