Bowl with Geometric Design (Two-part Pinwheel)

c. 1000-1150

The Cleveland Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art
Cleveland, United States

The Mogollon of New Mexico's Mimbres region produced thousands of bowls painted with black-and-white designs on their interiors. The designs range from elegant geometric motifs to abstract humans and animals. Meaning may have dwelled in part in the domed shape of the bowls, which often were ritually punctured before they were placed over the heads of the deceased in graves. Perhaps, like modern Pueblo peoples, the Mimbres believed that the sky was a dome pierced to allow for passage between worlds, as from the realm of the living to the dead.

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  • Title: Bowl with Geometric Design (Two-part Pinwheel)
  • Date Created: c. 1000-1150
  • Physical Dimensions: Diameter: 10 x 26.5 cm (3 15/16 x 10 7/16 in.)
  • Provenance: Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe, NM, 1930, sold to the Cleveland Museum of Art, The Cleveland Museum of Art
  • Type: Ceramic
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/1930.40
  • Medium: ceramic
  • Fun Fact: Composing on a round surface challenges artists to use space without simply repeating circular motifs.
  • Department: Art of the Americas
  • Culture: Southwest, Mogollan, Mimbres, Pre-Contact Period, 11th-12th century
  • Credit Line: Charles W. Harkness Endowment Fund
  • Collection: AA - Native North America
  • Accession Number: 1930.40

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