About this object

History of use

Shipibo pottery derives from an artistic tradition which appears to be indigenous to the Amazon Basin (Willey) reaching its fullest development among the Panoan speakers of the upper Amazon, such as the Shipibo. The geometric designs found on this pottery are also found on wooden objects such as paddles, textiles, and used for body decoration. According to Salas, these patterns derive from a cross and serpent theme. Characteristically, designs are formed by heavy and fine red and black lines on cream. Traditionally, uses ranged from pots for boiling meat and fish, bowls for eating, Chicha vessels for storing beer and effigy vessels for female puberty rites. The expansion into the art or tourist market is evidenced by the establishment of a pottery school, and individual recognition of a few potters for their skill (Salas).

Cultural context

pottery; tourist art

Physical description

Round, polycrome bowl which constricts to rounded, 8-12 cm. Unpainted, light brown/yellow base, inside no slip, rubbed and decorated with white/yellow lines which run straight and then zigzag for a short distance and run straight at 90 degrees or at other angles. Central zigzag is surrounded by a rectangle with 4 rectangular appendages. Other lines to edges and divide other space. 2 diamond shapes opposite with zigzag or twisted strand like line to edge. Outer orange, rubbed surface has 2 thick white/yellow v-shaped lines near base which are surrounded by thick lines which zigzag. Between these are v-shapes from rim with thick lines running parallel with triangles, jogs and 'twisted' zigzag areas. Thin lines run parallel and across in spaces between all. Smudged slip/paint on base, 5cm. crack at centre bottom, inside. Few pits inside and chipped along rim. Major scrape on outside 1x 3 cm.