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Head Effigy Bowl

Head Effigy Bowl

100 BC - 300

Pottery with burnished red slip

Overall: 13.3 x 15.9 x 19.2 cm (5 1/4 x 6 1/4 x 7 9/16 in.)

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. James C. Gruener 1990.199

Fun Fact

Diego Rivera and Rufino Tamayo were avid collectors of ancient Nayarit art.


After about 200 BC, West Mexican chieftains gained in authority, their new status reflected in shaft tombs that shelter not only their remains but also lavish offerings, including sculptural ceramics. Many of the ceramics may refer to the crucial activities of a chief’s life, such as marriage, feasting, and war. The meaning of this unusual bowl—a head whose gaping mouth serves as the aperture—is unknown.

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