Colima Cylindrical Vessel - PF.2916,Origin: Western Mexico,Circa: 300 BC to 300 AD,Dimensions: 5.5" (14.0cm) high,Collection: Pre-Columbian,Style: Colima,Medium: Terracotta. The effigy pottery from the ancient inhabitants of Colima is generally red-slipped, well fired, and polished, and tends to exhibit less abstraction than the art of neighboring groups in West Mexico. In addition to vessels in the shapes of humans and dogs, the artists of Colima also made simple, yet beautiful cylindrical vessels. The decoration of these containers seems to follow a pattern, as they generally feature one image, which is repeated (sometimes with slight variations) four times on the vessel's outside surface. Four coiled serpents have been carved in low relief on this piece, and snakes in other shapes are seen on the other vessels of this type. The common appearance of this animal on funerary items may indicate that it was a symbol associated with the underworld, as it was in Mayan mythology. Towards the end of the pre- classic period in Ancient Meso-America, the regions of Colima, Nayarit, and Jalisco in Western Mexico became home to what has now been termed the 'Shaft-Tomb' culture. These people built tombs consisting of shafts 10-60 feet deep with several ovoid tombs branching either directly off of the main shaft at various levels, or connected to it by lateral tunnels. The burial offerings, which filled these tombs, have become our greatest link to this lost culture. The hollow pottery figures, which were commonly placed in the tomb chambers, show stylistic variations between regions, giving us glimpses into the cultural differences between these groups as well as the beliefs which they held in common.
Ancient Central America & Mexico