Late Classic Period
Object Place: Department of El Petén, Guatemala, central Petén lowlands
10.5 x 14.8 cm (4 1/8 x 5 13/16 in.)
Medium or Technique
Earthenware: red, orange and black on cream slip paint
Not On View
The scene depicts a vision quest rite with six human participants who hold small drinking cups. One of the figures is dancing and smokes a cigarette. The taking of a ritual enema is implied by an enema bag floating between the two main figures and one held by the seated figure who faces the dancer. A large jar containing a frothy liquid sits atop a turtle carapace out of whose ends emerges an opposum-like animal. Flanking the water jar is a cormorant and an armadillo.
Between about 1974 and 1981, probably purchased in Guatemala by John B. Fulling (b. 1924 – d. 2005), The Art Collectors of November, Inc., Pompano Beach, FL; May 20, 1987, sold by John B. Fulling to Landon T. Clay, Boston; 1988, year-end gift of Landon Clay to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 25, 1989)
NOTE: This is one in a group of Maya artifacts (MFA accession nos. 1988.1169 – 1988.1299) known as the “November Collection” after John Fulling’s company, the Art Collectors of November, Inc. John Fulling sold this group of objects to MFA donor Landon Clay in 1987, and they were given to the Museum the following year.
Evidence suggests that John Fulling built the November Collection from sources in Guatemala between 1974 and 1981. Only a portion of what he acquired during this time came to the MFA in 1988. It is not possible to determine precisely which objects were acquired when or from whom.
Gift of Landon T. Clay