Late Classic period
A.D. 550–750

Place of Manufacture: Belize

Catalogue Raisonné

MS1092; Kerr 1082 Maya Vase Book V.1 p. 57


34.8 x 40.8 cm (13 11/16 x 16 1/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Earthenware: red and black on yellow-orange slip paint

On View

Ancient South America Gallery (Gallery LG33)





Large basin painted with a depiction of a sacrificial rite involving warriors and battle captives. The four sets of figures include two pairs of warriors facing each other, all holding a shield and spear. A bound and bleeding captive sits on the ground between the two groups of warriors. A third set of figures features a nude male figure whose body is painted with horizontal stripes and who has undergone a sacrificial bloodletting right of penis perforation. He faces a warrior holding a shield and spear. A large dish holding a decapitated head sits on the ground between these two figures. The fourth grouping comprises two musicians playing long flutes and percussion instruments including a maraca and a small drum held under the arm (see 1988.1233 for an example of this type of drum). They are flanked by a bound and bleeding captive and a severed and bound human leg. A band of “kan” crosses encircles the basin below the red rim band.

Two individuals play musical accompaniment to a ceremony of ritual performance and the sacrifice of captured warriors. The flutes produced melodic tones that complemented the rhythmic sounds of the rattles and drums held under their arms. A third performer, painted with colored stripes, plays a conch-shell trumpet.


Collected between 1974 and 1981 by John Fulling, Art Collectors of November, Inc., Florida (and known as the "November Collection"); to Landon T. Clay, Boston, Massachusetts, in 1987; to MFA, December 1988, gift of Landon T. Clay.

Credit Line

Gift of Landon T. Clay