Cylinder vase

Late Classic Period
A.D. 650–750

Object Place: Waká-El Perú region, Guatemala

Catalogue Raisonné

Kerr 1092


Overall: 19.1 x 15.9 cm (7 1/2 x 6 1/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Earthenware with red, orange, black and white on cream slip decoration

On View

Ancient Central America Gallery (Gallery LG32)





On this vase ten men are drinking and smoking potent tobacco as part of a ritual event. The alcoholic drink-probably made from fermented honey and flavored with special leaves-is contained in jars marked with the hieroglyph ki or chi, which in Lowland Mayan languages refers to sweet substances. The hieroglyphic text around the rim of the vase states that it was the kakaw (chocolate) drinking vessel of a Maya noble. The smaller texts identify the participants and include the title “drunken one” for the man supported by two attendants.


July 1, 1980, sold by Alphonse Jax (dealer), New York, to Landon and Lavinia Clay, Boston; 2003, year-end gift of Landon and Lavinia Clay to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 21, 2004)

Credit Line

Gift of Lavinia and Landon T. Clay