Ceremonial Human Figure Vessel
14 1/2 in. (36.8 cm)
Capuli Culture Complex; made in Colombia
Medium and Support:
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles F. Hutchinson
Location: Currently on view
This vessel is in the form of a stylized human holding a bowl, perhaps making a coca offering. Death, marriage, and almost any other social or religious ritual once included an offering of coca. Possessing ceremonial significance, the leaves of the coca plant have also been used in the Andean region for hundreds of years to treat ailments ranging from dysentery to altitude sickness.
There is a small opening in the top of the vessel suggesting it may have been used to hold cremated human remains. The slit eyes may indicate death or a trance state.
[Gallery label text, 2009]