**Originally Listed At $750**
Pre-Columbian, Peru, Chavin culture, ca. 1200 to 500 BCE. A rare example of a poporo made from a creamy pinkish white shell with incised decoration on the body - pyramid and mountain forms - and a wooden piece inserted into the open side of the shell as a seal. Cinnabar pigment colors the incised lines. The shell has been drilled into - on its back center - to form a round hole. The wood seal and the mouth have gold leaf around them. A small hole drilled through the base is for suspension. Size: 3" L x 3.85" W x 2.95" H (7.6 cm x 9.8 cm x 7.5 cm)
From the earliest times, people in the Andes had a tradition of using coca leaves for ritual purposes. They were often ingested by placing some of the leaves in the mouth and adding a small quantity of powdered lime, ground from seashells. The poporo was a special vessel made to hold the lime. Like this example, they were often elaborately carved and decorated.
Provenance: private Hawaii, USA collection; ex-Hans Juergen Westermann collection, Germany
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