Female Funerary Urn

Female Funerary Urn

A.D. 1200-1600
Locale
Lower Amazon River Region
Country
Brazil
urn, funerary urn
Earthenware with colored slips
Gift of Frederick and Jan Mayer
2006.17A-B
. Female Funerary Urn. A.D. 1200-1600. Earthenware with colored slips. Gift of Frederick and Jan Mayer. 2006.17A-B.
Dimensions
height: 16 1/2 in, 41.9100 cm; width: 10 3/8 in, 26.3525 cm; diameter: 7 3/8 in, 18.7325 cm; height: 18 in, 45.7200 cm; width: 10 in, 25.4000 cm
Department
Mayer Center, Art of the Ancient Americas
Collection
Art of the Ancient Americas

Female Funerary Urn
About A.D. 1200-1600
Brazil, Lower Amazon River Region
Earthenware with colored slips
Gift of Frederick and Jan Mayer, 2006.17A&B

Near the Maracá River in Brazil, archaeologists have discovered cave cemeteries with funerary urns containing bones from secondary burials.  Some of the urns are animal effigies, while others consist of hollow male and female human figures seated atop benches; the removable heads served as lids.  This urn probably comes from the same general region, and fulfilled a similar function.  The figure has elaborate painting on the face and body, and swollen calves (produced by the use of ligatures).  The urn likely served as a portrait of the deceased, allowing descendants to venerate and consult with their ancestress at the cemetery.