Download Creations of the rainbow serpent: polychrome ceramic designs by Mary W. Helms PDF

By Mary W. Helms

This quantity brings a clean standpoint to the multicolored Cocl? ceramic wares excavated at Sitio Conte in crucial Panama throughout the Thirties. The Cocl? tradition was once a hierarchical and centralized society that flourished a few thousand years in the past. Many of those ceramic wares have been unearthed in caches and burials of elite figures. Cocl? artists adorned their ceramics with a mix of geometrical kinds and vigorous, image depictions of curious birds and beasts. Helms sees in those polychromes a semiotic code expressing sociological and cosmological recommendations of the Cocl? tradition. person chapters discover chromatics, serpents, mammals, birds and bird, physique components and procedures, the tree of lifestyles, and different subject matters. This quantity is handsomely illustrated with black-and-white and colour plates and dozens of line drawings.

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Hurricanes, as noted above). Lévi-Strauss has noted, in passing, that structural contrasts can be found when certain contemporary Kuna (Panama) myths dealing with the origins of cooking fire are compared to their tropical South American counterparts (1969:138, note 15). Similarly, Bozzoli de Wille and Cubero have independently recognized certain structural inversions in Page 20 Talamancan mythemes from southeastern Costa Rica when compared with northern South American myths (1988; see also chap.

Ceramic material was found in refuse, in caches, and as funeral furniture in graves. The quantities of sherds found as refuse had been greatly disturbed by the digging of grave shafts and/or perhaps by floods, and were of limited use. Cache and grave ceramics also posed problems, as Lothrop explains: The amount of pottery deposited in individual graves varied greatly. We cannot give exact figures because the inhabitants of the Sitio Conte had (for the purposes of this study) several very unfortunate customs.

Lacking such a vine, he turned instead to a large serpent with great whiskers who dwelt in the east where the sun rises. He sent a group of men to the serpent to pull out a whisker (it was so large it took twenty-five men to roll it up and carry it to Sibu), and used it to tie his house (Stone 1962:55). Conceivably, such a whiskered serpent is indicated in the Coclé ceramics in Fig. 18. (See also Fig. ). Returning to the serpent as basic body form in design motifs, Fig. 20 portrays a mammalian creature, perhaps a tapir, whose basic body form is shown, by color contrast, to be serpentine.

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