Mimbres Black on White Pottery Bowl
    Circa 1000-1150 AD
    Height 5 in. Diameter 12 1/4 in.

    This classic bowl is painted on the interior with a complex geometric pattern. The various design elements include hatched triangles, hatched stepped triangles, negative lightning bands, and crosshatched tail feather motifs. The bowl has an open ringed center with a kill hole. "About two thirds of all burials during the Classic period included a painted bowl. Usually, but not always, the bowl had a hole punched in its bottom, a feature often colloquially referred to nowadays as a 'kill hole'. Many people have speculated on the meaning of the kill hole, but any interpretation is confounded by the evolution of Mimbres funeral practices over time. Before the Classic period, bowls (without kill holes) were usually broken and the pieces scattered in the burial pit. Later, just the hole was made, and the bowl was buried otherwise intact. Breaking the bowl might have been to release the bowl's spirit whereas - drawing on ethnographic analogy - making the hole might have been to let the spirit of the deceased pass through the bowl. Possible explanations abound, but we really have no way of knowing what the intent was."

    Bonhams and Butterfields, Sale 7477E, Lot 3311, December 8, 2003.

    LeBlanc, Steven, Painted By A Distant Hand, Peabody Museum Press, Harvard University, 2004, p. 20

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    Condition report available upon request.

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    Auction Dates
    September, 2006
    29th Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
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