Pre-Columbian, Brazil, Marajoara culture, ca. 800 to 1400 CE. A beautifully painted bowl whose interior depicts mask-like faces and insects. The exterior has an elaborate geometric and swirled motif that resembles a labyrinth. One edge of the bowl has a short, nub-like handle that gives the piece the appearance of a turtle with its head emerging from its shell when viewed from the underside. Based on ethnographic studies of twentieth century people from the same place, we believe that insects formed an important part of Marajoara diet, so this dish may have been used for serving them! The Marajoara - also known as the Marajo - flourished on Marajo Island, in the mouth of the Amazon River. They built impressive mounds and lived subsistence lifestyles while producing stylistically-unique, beautiful pottery like this. Size: 8.7" W x 9.75" H (22.1 cm x 24.8 cm); 12.75" H (32.4 cm) on included custom stand.
Provenance: private Hawaii, USA collection; ex-Eugene Lions collection, Geneva, Switzerland
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Repaired and restored from a few large pieces with overpainting on the repair lines, which are mainly on the opposite side of the body from the handle. These repairs are nearly invisible. Some pitting on surface and small losses to pigment, but overall motifs are in a beautiful state of preservation.