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Pre-Columbian & Western Art

Large Jar

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Large Jar
300-650 A.D.

Place of Origin: Nazca, Peru
Materials: Clay
Dimensions: Ht: 22.5 cm.
Acc. No. 67.291

The large clay water-pot, a jar, has been designed like a human figure : a man represented as seated over a circular black tub-like base, which merged with the seated figure's roundness looks more like the figures part rather than a seat of any sort. The seated man has been portrayed as holding a human head, perhaps a clan's enemy, and the person holding it, the clan's hero who defeated this enemy. The ugly looking face with wide exposed uncouth teeth the head might also be the representation of an evil spirit that the seated hero commanded. Thus, the jar could have had once some amuletic significance and was believed to purify the water that it contained from all evil effects.

The jar is made of clay treated with cream slip and painted with a wide range of brown from light reddish to so deep as looked black. The seated human figure, the jar consists of, stylized as it is, might also be some mythological creature painted holding trophy head on one side, and some other motifs, on the other. A fillet like conceived crown indicating perhaps the figure's status with a wider and more elaborate ring on the front is tied around his head dress. A spouted jar, or a jar modelled flat or rounded, as this piece, defines the height of Nazca earthen wares manufacturing. Excellent as it was, this pottery represents a large range of rich colours, fine polish and rare skill manifesting in laying decorative designs on the jar's outer wall.

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Drinking Cup
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Large Human Head
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