pedestal plate with reptile-human figure

Coclé culture
Creation date
slipped and painted earrthenware
6 3/4 x 10 1/2 (diam.) in.
Credit line
Roger G. Wolcott Fund
Accession number
Currently On View

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.

Reproduction of these images, including downloading, is prohibited without written authorization from VAGA.

350 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2820
New York, NY 10118
Tel: 212-736-6666
Fax: 212-736-6767