Description This bowl shows a staff-bearing feline, likely a puma, repeated many times around the surface of the bowl. At the center, an eight-pointed star, broken into four directions, may represent a stylized image of the known world and its cardinal directions. Pumas, as some of the most powerful predators of the Americas, were highly important in the mythology of the Andes, and this likely has a meaning not well-understood today. Dishes on short, ring-shaped bases were common in the Nariño region straddling the border between Ecuador and Colombia. They were carefully shaped, burnished (carefully polished with a stone), and painted with different colors of slip, a thinned out clay. Many of the Nariño vessels show highly abstracted patterns, like this one.
- Exploring Art of the Ancient Americas: The John Bourne Collection Gift. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville. 2012-2013.
Provenance Economos Works of Art [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; John G. Bourne, 1990s, by purchase; by bequest to Walters Art Museum, 2017.
Credit Bequest of John G. Bourne, 2017
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