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pedestal plate with reptile-human figure

Coclé culture

All ceramics of the Americas before the arrival of Europeans are "earthenware," a type of porous, easily broken ceramic made from clay baked at low temperatures.

A "potter's wheel" was not used by native peoples of the Americas.

The identity of ancient American artists, such as those who made these pedestal plates is not known to us, but within their community they were well known, high status individuals.

The dancing figures on these plates combine alligator-like features with the human form, and represent priests or rulers in the attire of supernatural beings.

These plates were used in rituals and placed in graves.

Object Information

Coclé culture
creation date
slipped and painted earrthenware
6 3/4 x 10 1/2 (diam.) in.
accession number
credit line
Roger G. Wolcott Fund
Public Domain
Native Arts of the Americas

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