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Bowl with Fish
Bowl with Fish
Overall: 10.5 x 24.5 cm (4 1/8 x 9 5/8 in.)
Charles W. Harkness Endowment Fund 1930.49
Southwest freshwater garfish or coastal Pacific swordfish? Ancient motifs traveled via trade and cultural exchange.
The Mogollon of New Mexico's Mimbres region produced thousands of bowls painted with black-and-white designs on their interiors. The designs range from elegant geometric motifs to abstract humans and animals. Meaning may have dwelled in part in the domed shape of the bowls, which often were ritually punctured before they were placed over the heads of the deceased in graves. Perhaps, like modern Pueblo peoples, the Mimbres believed that the sky was a dome pierced to allow for passage between worlds, as from the realm of the living to the dead.
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