Single-spout strap-handle vessel: feline
- 500–100 BCE
The name Paracas (para-ako) means “sand falling like rain” in the indigenous Quechua language, highlighting the harsh desert environment. Despite the stark conditions, the Paracas culture developed a vibrant polychrome visual tradition in their textiles, ceramics, and other visual arts. Paracas ceramicists used a technique of combining mineral paints with plant resins to create a palette of yellow, green, red, and white pigments, which could be applied to the vessel surface after firing. This technique produced a waxy texture of bright colors set against a dark gray or black surface.
During the Early Horizon Period (900-200 BCE), feline imagery becomes common in Paracas arts. The concentric circle designs across the body, bands over the tail, and distinct markings of the face may refer to the coastal ocelot (Leopardis pardalis) or tropical forest jaguar (Panthera onca).
Label text, A. H. Meadows Galleries.