Introduction Patagonia Andes Amazon Mesoamerica / Caribbean Southwest Plains / Plateau Woodlands California / Great Basin Northwest Coast Arctic / Subarctic Contemporary Art
Tairona carved bowl

Tairona carved bowl
AD 400–900
Caldas Department, Colombia
Clay, paint
15 x 13 x 8 cm
Gift of David T. Abercrombie

This finely carved bowl has two frog effigies on its rim. Frogs are prominent in the indigenous art of ancient Colombia and may represent sacred totemic animals associated with rain and water. Living in the northern Andes, at the edges of the Inka Empire, the Tairona were never conquered by their powerful neighbors. Yet their arts reveal strong pan-Andean influences, particularly use of the color red, traces of which are seen here. Red is associated throughout the Andes with power, authority, and the sun.

Back to Top