Anthropological Collection


The pottery vessels taíNas were molded with strips of clay and decorated with incisions and colors of minerals and plant pigments. They were usually dried in the sun or burned to harden and strengthen them. The sizes and shapes of several of the ceramic objects reveal their different functions: to store liquids, to protect grains from insects and rodents, or to preserve the remains of a dead person. The simplest vessels were used in daily life, while the most elaborate were reserved for the use of prestigious people or for special occasions and ceremonies. Archaeologists interested in the functions of the vessels have suggested that round Caribbean and Amazonian ceramics with handles may have been designed for hot foods, such as cooked.

In the case at hand, the double vessel, its appearance as a piece is unusual, which implies a use and manufacture limited to ritual spaces in these aboriginal societies and whose abundance is not common in museums and among collectors, giving a rarity to it, both for its particular and well-achieved aesthetic form, and for its unusual presence as a piece, placing it among those of great curiosity and strangeness of Taino art. With little pronounced handles on this double vessel, the bat is the inspiring and very recurring motif in the local artist, marked in turn by a high rituality from cultural patterns that saw the bat as a representative cycle of life and death. hence its reiteration and presence in Taino art.

Learn more about Taino culture by consulting the book Taínos: origins, culture, beliefs, art, heritage  at the Centro León Media Library with the code RD /972.9301 / T134o.


M 022175


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Last modified on Thursday August 20 2015 10: 58
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