Lime container in the shape of a female figure

Mid-Cauca (Quimbaya) - Early Period-500/700

Museo del Oro, Bogotá

Museo del Oro, Bogotá
Bogota, Colombia

This large size receptacle for lime or poporo is a realistic representation of a naked woman, dressed in ornaments and wearing face paint, who is sitting down and holding a bar with birds in each hand and a hanging plate. The helmet, nose ring, earrings and a necklace with various strings decorating her are identical to those found in some very wealthy tombs discovered in the Mid Cauca region, and this indicates that it corresponds to a high class woman.
Figures of women with their sexual parts enhanced, like in the case of this poporo, and sometimes pregnant, are frequent in the Quimbaya goldwork of the early period and in ceramic urns used in the most sumptuous trousseaus, as if the leaders had an important role related to fertility and reproduction. This woman’s meditative and static expression and her posture holding the bars with the birds confer to her a ceremonious and solemn appearance, as if she were participating in a ritual. The inexpressive gesture of her face and her eyes half shut suggest she is lost in thought, a typical condition of altered states of consciousness. MAU


  • Title: Lime container in the shape of a female figure
  • Creator: Mid-Cauca (Quimbaya) - Early Period
  • Creator Lifespan: -486/700
  • Creator Nationality: Colombia
  • Creator Death Place: Colombia
  • Creator Birth Place: Colombia
  • Date: -500/700
  • Physical Dimensions: w118 x h271 mm
  • Type: Goldwork
  • External Link: Cosmology and Symbolism room
  • Technique: Lost wax casting with core, in tumbaga
  • Finding: Colombia, Antioquia, Puerto Nare
  • Accession number: O32852

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