Ceremonial duho with an anthropomorphic head. The surface is eroded and prevents observing the characteristics. The front legs are anthropomorphic.
Both Father Las Casas, Cristóbal Colón and Oviedo make reference to the restricted use of this seat, characterized by a great decoration, as well as a beautiful and majestic design. In these seats were accommodated the first Spaniards arrived on the island, especially Admiral Christopher Columbus.
Made of precious and resistant wood like the Guayacán, the Mahogany or the Ceiba, the duho was also made of stone and used to have different sizes, being also used in some cases and ceremonies, by the behiques.
With zoomorphic and anthropomorphic design, it was made from the trunk of a large tree as a single piece from where the furniture was decorated and designed. With four small legs that served as a support to it, usually somewhat low, had a form of tail tail upward and without sleeves or side arms, sat the caciques in the form of squatting or crouching.
Profusely and aesthetically intervened, the duho, in addition to his character eminently linked to power, meant an icon of Taino art. Its hollow parts were filled with gold (eyes). With that same name it was denominated in other regions of America like Venezuela, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Ecuador, Nicaragua, reason why a common root of the word is given to several aboriginal languages.
It served as furniture in games, rituals and other important activities. The deeply symbolic character represented by the design of the duho could be understood with these words of the American Chronicler Oviedo:
"The duhos usually have the shape of a turtle and this animal was representation of the earth on which the celestial vault was, symbolized by the carapacho full of scales with circular and rhomboid drawings that could evoke in the Indians the clouds and the stellar bodies "
With this piece from the collection of Mr. Gustavo Tavares Grieser, the León Center honors his memory and testifies to the quality of his donation in this piece of great artistic and social value in the Taino culture.