Collections: Arts of the Americas: Cohoba Spoon

  • 1st Floor
    Arts of Africa, Steinberg Family Sculpture Garden
  • 2nd Floor
    Arts of Asia and the Islamic World
  • 3rd Floor
    Egyptian Art, European Paintings
  • 4th Floor
    Contemporary Art, Decorative Arts, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art
  • 5th Floor
    Luce Center for American Art

Hiroshige's One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Hiroshige's 118 woodblock landscape and genre scenes of mid-nineteenth-century Tokyo, is one of the greatest achievements of Japanese art.

    On View: Medallion

    Inscribed "AM I NOT A MAN AND A BROTHER?" this small medallion was a potent early emble...

     

    Want to add this object to a set? Please join the Posse, or log in.

    close

    Cohoba Spoon

    The Taino of the Caribbean islands centered their religion on the worship of zemis, or deities. Shamans (behiques) served as intermediaries between supernatural and natural worlds. They communicated with deities by inhaling cohoba powder, a hallucinogen that was mixed with tobacco to maximize its effect. Carved spoons were used to ladle the powder, which was then inhaled through the nose with a tube. Before ingestion, the shaman purified himself by purging with a vomiting stick. Ritual objects of bone and wood such as the ones seen here were exquisitely carved with images of zemis, who helped the shaman achieve ecstatic states.


    Los Taíno de las islas Caribeñas centraban su religión en la adoración de zemis o deidades. Los chamanes (behiques) servían como intermediarios entre los mundos sobrenatural y natural. Ellos se comunicaban con las deidades mediante la inhalación del polvo de cohoba, un alucinógeno que se mezclaba con tabaco para maximizar su efecto. Cucharas talladas se usaban para verter el polvo, el cual era inhalado con un tubo por la nariz. Antes de ingerirlo, el chamán se purificaba purgándose con una espátula para vomitar. Objetos rituales de hueso y madera como los que se ven aquí estaban exquisitamente tallados con imágenes de zemis, quienes ayudaban al chamán a alcanzar el estado de trance.

    This text refers to these objects: ' 1997.175.1; 1997.175.2

    • Culture: Taino
    • Medium: Bone
    • Dates: 1200-1500
    • Dimensions: 8 1/4 x 1 3/4 x 1 1/2 in. (21 x 4.4 x 3.8 cm)  (show scale)
    • Collections:Arts of the Americas
    • Museum Location: This item is on view in Arts of the Americas Galleries, 5th Floor
    • Exhibitions:
    • Accession Number: 1997.175.2
    • Credit Line: Anonymous gift
    • Rights Statement: Creative Commons-BY
    • Caption: Taino. Cohoba Spoon, 1200-1500. Bone, 8 1/4 x 1 3/4 x 1 1/2 in. (21 x 4.4 x 3.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Anonymous gift, 1997.175.2. Creative Commons-BY
    • Image: overall, 1997.175.2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
    • Record Completeness: Good (64%)
    advanced 106,538 records currently online.

    Separate each tag with a space: painting portrait.

    Or join words together in one tag by using double quotes: "Brooklyn Museum."




    Please review the comment guidelines before posting.

    Before you comment...

    We get a lot of comments, so before you post yours, check to see if your issue is addressed by one of the questions below. Click on a question to see our answer:

    Why are some objects not on view?

    The Museum’s permanent collections are very large and only a fraction of these can be on exhibition at any given time. Sometimes works are lent to other museums for special exhibitions; sometimes they are in the conservation laboratory for study or maintenance. Certain types of objects, such as watercolors, textiles, and photographs, are sensitive to light and begin to fade if they are exposed for too long, so their exhibition time is limited. Finally, as large as the Museum is, there is not enough room to display everything in the collections. In order to present our best works, collections are rotated periodically.

    How do I find out how much an object in the Brooklyn Museum collections is worth?

    The Museum does not disclose the monetary values of objects in its collections.

    Can you tell me the value of an artwork that I own?

    The Museum does not provide monetary appraisals. To determine the value of an object or to find an appraiser, you may contact the Art Dealers Association of America or the American Society of Appraisers.

    I own a similar object. Can you tell me more about it?

    Please submit via e-mail a photograph of the object you own and as much information about it as you can, and we will provide any additional information we are able to find. Please note that research in our files is a lengthy process, and you may not have a response for some time.

    How would I go about lending or gifting a work to the Museum or seeing if the Museum is interested in purchasing a work that I own?

    Please submit via e-mail a photograph of the object you would like us to consider, as well as all of the information you have about it, and your offer will be forwarded to the appropriate curator. The Brooklyn Museum collections are very rich, and we have many works that are not currently on exhibition; because of this, and because storage space is limited, we are very selective about adding works. However, the collection has become what it is today through the generosity of the public, and we continue to be grateful for this generosity, which can still lead to exciting new acquisitions.

    How can I get a reproduction of a work in your collection?

    Please see the Museum’s information on Image Services.

    How can I show my work to someone at the Museum or be considered for an exhibition?

    Please see the Museum’s Artist Submission Guidelines.

    Why do many objects not have photographs and/or complete descriptions?

    The Museum's collection is very large, and we are constantly in the process of adding photographs and descriptions to works that do not currently have them, or replacing photographs that have deteriorated beyond use and descriptions that are minimal or out of date. This is a long and expensive process that takes time.

    How can I find a conservator or get advice on how to treat my artwork?

    Please visit the American Institute for Conservation, which has a feature on how to find a conservator.

    I have a comment or question which is not included in this list.

    Join the posse or log in to work with our collections. Your tags, comments and favorites will display with your attribution.