Tetrapod Bowl with Lid
Arts of the Americas
On View: Great Hall, 1st Floor
Ancient Maya art often refers to the structure of the universe, conceived as three vertical levels: the celestial upper world of supernatural beings and ancestors, the earthly middle world of human beings, and the watery underworld of the dead.
The water bird on the lid of this vessel symbolizes the underworld, and the design on its beak signifies a portal to the supernatural realm. The four modeled legs of the vessel are four nose-down heads of peccaries (a type of pig), possibly representing the four pillars of the world, corresponding to the four cardinal directions.
Early Classic Period
Overall with Lid: 13 x 11 1/4 x 11 1/4 in. (33 x 28.6 x 28.6 cm) (show scale)
Ella C. Woodward Memorial Fund
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license
. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.
Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact email@example.com
Maya. Tetrapod Bowl with Lid, 350-450. Ceramic, pigment, Overall with Lid: 13 x 11 1/4 x 11 1/4 in. (33 x 28.6 x 28.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Ella C. Woodward Memorial Fund, 64.217a-b. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 64.217a-b_SL3.jpg)
overall, 64.217a-b_SL3.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
Tetrapod bowl with lid, with residue of red and white pigments. On lid, modeled depictions include a water bird with a fish in its mouth, wings to the side, and at the back, a glyph meaning "anus." Four modeled legs represent peccaries with their snouts flat against the ground.
Condition: The vessel is in stable condition. The lid has been broken and repaired (see updated conservation treatment report).
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.