Poporo (Lime Container)
Arts of the Americas
On View: American Art Galleries, 5th Floor, The Americas’ First Peoples, 4000 B.C.E.–1521 C.E.
Poporo are containers used to hold powdered lime made from burnt seashells. Placed in the mouth with coca leaves, powdered lime activates the stimulant in the leaves. In ancient times, ceremonial gold containers were utilized by priests and elites in Quimbaya society.
The male and female figures on opposing sides of the vessel reflect the importance of duality in the Andean world.
Tumbaga (gold and copper alloy)
Alfred W. Jenkins Fund
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Quimbaya. Poporo (Lime Container), 1-600 C.E. Tumbaga (gold and copper alloy), 8 x 4 1/8 in. (20.3 x 10.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Alfred W. Jenkins Fund, 35.507. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 35.507_female_SL1.jpg)
detail, female side, 35.507_female_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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Gold container or poporo used to hold powdered lime made from burnt seashells. The vessel is decorated with male and female figures on opposite sides to reflect the importance of duality in the Andean world. Powdered lime was placed in the mouth with coca leaves to activate the stimulant in the leaves.
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