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Cylinder Vessel
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Cylinder Vessel

Description Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description The painted vases of the Maya offer a window to a lost world. The black-on-cream coloring seen here is often referred to as "codex-style" because of its resemblance to ancient Maya books, or codices, all but four of which have been lost or destroyed. Surrounding this drinking vessel are aspects of the god Mok Chih, whose name means “Sickness Pulque.” Pulque is an alcoholic beverage made from the agave plant, often sweetened with honey. Mok Chih, who is seen directly in front of you, is associated with bees and beekeeping; his flat hat with antennae alludes to the honey-producing insects. Two other aspects of the Mayan god are also shown on the vessel. The female figure, seen on your right, wears a headdress with animal-like features, and on her arm is a painted symbol representing death and the underworld. On the opposite side of the vessel, the bloated figure references the ill-effects of too much pulque.
  • Crowning Glory: Art of the Americas. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2018.
Provenance George and Julianne Alderman; given to Walters Art Museum, 2005.
Credit Gift of George and Julianne Alderman, 2005

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600-900 CE (Late Classic)
earthenware with slip paint
Accession Number
H: 6 5/16 x Diam: 5 1/4 in. (16 x 13.3 cm)
  • Guatemala (Place of Origin)
  • Mexico (Place of Origin)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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