Mayan Painted Bowl

SKU PF.5647

300 AD to 900 AD


3.5″ (8.9cm) high x 5.125″ (13.0cm) wide




El Salvador

Gallery Location



This diminutive vessel rests comfortably into our two hands. The gentle curves of the bowl conform perfectly to our cupped palms. No doubt, this masterful work of Mayan pottery played an intricate role in long forgotten rituals. In our hands, this vessel exudes an ancient energy more lasting than time itself. Much like some people believe ancient spirits continue to haunt the earth long after their death, sacred objects continue to retain their spiritual powers, accumulated through centuries of reverence, long after the civilization that created them fades into oblivion. The body of the bowl has been separated into two sections divided by a two red rings. A series of painted glyphs decorate the upper band while an abstract pattern of vertical red and orange bars adorns the bottom. There exists an elegance in the simplicity of this vessel. The glyphs, resembling a stylized face and a swirling wave, indicate the significance of the creation; perhaps they allude to the fallen king or dignitary along whom it was entombed. Surely, such an extraordinary bowl had a meaning greater than its most basic function. Unfortunately, this mysterious purpose remains unsolved. However, the beauty of the vessel remains as stunning and clear as the day it was fired

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