Pre-Columbian, Colombia, Tairona region, ca. 1000 to 1550 CE. A black ware vessel with a tall, wide, central spout on a ring base and a stylized tapered spout on one end; the other end presents a spout in the form of a caiman looking upward. Little feet extend from the shoulder at each end. It stands atop a large, rounded foot - its shape mirrored in the wide mouth of the central spout. A similar known vessel has a bat head in place of the smooth spout. Size: 11" W x 9" H (27.9 cm x 22.9 cm)
The caiman (also sometimes spelled cayman) was commonly featured in human-animal hybrid material culture of ancient Colombian artwork. The Tairona lived in circular house platforms with areas of the houses divided for labor by gender. Ceramic manufacture seems to have been the realm of the women in the household, and small burnishing stones used for smoothing the surface of pottery prior to firing have been found in their areas. Effigy jars like this one were made specifically to be placed into tombs.
Provenance: ex-private Thousand Oaks, California, USA collection
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