About 1200–100 B.C.
Ecuador, south-central coast
Earthenware with colored slips and resist decoration
Bequest of Robert J. Stroessner, 1992.54
Chorrera ceramics are characterized by thin walls, elegant forms, and smoothly polished surfaces. This example, in the form of a feline, was painted with red and tan slips, and burnished before firing. Later, patterns were painted on the tan areas with a resist material, and the vessel was held over a smoky fire. The areas unprotected by the resist material were darkened by the smoke.
The animal portrayed by this vessel is probably a supernatural being of some sort. It wears a beaded necklace with a flat pendant, a mask, and a headdress. The curvilinear patterns on the pelt may represent fish or serpents.
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