Ramos Polychrome jar: snakes and men

Casas Grandes
1280/1300 - 1450
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General Description

A Mogollon trading center flourished from about 1150 to 1350 CE in the Casas Grandes Valley. Turquoise, exotic birds, and decorative pottery figured in the extensive trade network of the center. Casas Grandes potters preferred the form of the round‑bottomed jar, its surface highly polished and decorated in black, red, and cream paint. Bold curvilinear spirals, stepped triangles, checkerboard patterns, and rows of dotted squares surround the serpents and parrot or macaw heads that decorate the surface of this jar, all characteristic motifs in the pottery of Casas Grandes. The feathered serpent is a common theme throughout the Americas, while the striking image of the two profile human figures with hunchbacks are reminiscent of Mimbres styles and may represent a local mythology.

Adapted from

  • Bonnie Pitman, ed., "Lidded Jar (1990.96.a-b.FA)," in Dallas Museum of Art: A Guide to the Collection (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2012), 55.

  • Carol Robbins, "Lidded Jar (1990.96.a-b.FA)," in Dallas Museum of Art: A Guide to the Collection, ed. Suzanne Kotz (Dallas, TX: Dallas Museum of Art, 1997), 197.

  • Anne R. Bromberg, Dallas Museum of Art: Selected Works (Dallas, TX: Dallas Museum of Art, 1983), 20.

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