**Originally Listed At $900**
Pre-Columbian, Caribbean/Florida, Arawak People, Taino, ca. 15th century CE. A delightful pestle, hand carved from a heavy, grey stone, in the form of an anthropomorphic bird - or possibly a human wearing a bird mask. The grinding surface of the pestle is smooth and flat, and shows signs of having been extensively used with a rich patina. The body of the pestle features human-like arms in relief against a human-like torso. Above a gently narrowed neck is the head of a small beaked, duck-like bird with deep nostrils and even deeper eye sockets. Transformative human/animal figures in Taino culture may represent shamans, and this pestle may have been used for grinding hallucinogenic substances to induce shamanic states. Size: 2.25" W x 5.75" H (5.7 cm x 14.6 cm)
Provenance: private J. Hart collection, Houston, Texas, USA, acquired mid-1970s
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Wear on surface commensurate with age and use, including some deposits, especially around the lower body where it would have been pressed into whatever it was grinding.