Terracotta pedestal bowl "Nariño"

300 €

Pre-Columbian era, Nariño culture, Carchi-Nariño region, Colombia, private collection from Finland.

This stunning pedestal terracotta bowl are from Nariño culture, a people who once lived in communities in the mountains of Nariño, Colombia from 700AD to 1500AD. They also harvested quinoa and raised Llamas for agriculture and trade. They made artwork out of materials such wool, strings and wood. This culture, due to use of particular decorative technique on pottery, is also called "Negativo del Carchi" or "Negativo del Nariño".

The pedestal terracotta bowls are typical pottery forms of the Nariño-Carchi area. They differ in size, techniques and decorative designs. Apparently, their function was to present solid or liquid food, such as fermented maize (called chicha). The area where they were used is in the neighbouring provinces: Carchi in northern Ecuador and Nariño in southwestern Colombia. This kind of vessels were primarily used in festivals and ceremonies. Many of them stand out by being decorated with negative painting. This type of painting has been one of the greatest achievements of the region. The negative painting was achieved through a wax bath in some areas, painting the rest of the surface. Upon cooking, the heat melted the wax, leaving the ceramic color exposed. Most of the vessels were decorated unilaterally, but there were also some adorned both from the inside and the outside. The vessels were covered with geometric patterns consisting of parallel lines, intersecting patterns, grids, diamond shapes, trapezoidal and zoomorphic figures.

Pre-Columbian art encompasses the artefacts created by the indigenous peoples from the second millennium BC to the time of arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492, when the existing culture were conquered by the Europeans.

Beyond the more familiar civilisations such as the Incas and the Maya, smaller ethnic groups were able to develop their own distinctive cultures and artistic style. Many of these civilizations had long faded by the time of the first permanent European colonies and are known only through archaeological investigations and oral history. A very large proportion of pre-Columbian art is of terracotta.

Large terracotta bowl from Nariño culture with capuli style flared pedestal. Decorated with a distinct geometric patterns created by using wax and liquid colored clays. Relatively good condition. Age-related wear, abrasion, cracks and nicks. Beautiful encrusted patina. Soil, dirt and dust. Size approx. 13,0cm x 20,5cm x 20,4cm. Weight c. 841g.