Lime container in the shape of a fruit

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

Museo del Oro, Bogotá

Museo del Oro, Bogotá
Bogota, Colombia

The shape of this poporo, or lime container used to chew the leaves of the sacred coca plant, is inspired in the rounded volumes of the pumpkin. These fruits, as well as others like gourd and “totumo”, used in pre-Hispanic times and even today to manufacture containers and other products, were widely represented in a slender form by the goldsmiths and ceramists in the Mid Cauca during the early period. The goldwork pieces with these shapes are distinct due to their mastery, roundness and sobriety and their smooth and shiny surfaces, features motivating their appreciation as art works in the XIX century and the interest of European museums to collect them.

The perfection of this object evidences the mastery of its creator who used the technique of lost wax casting with a clay mould and an inner clay and carbon core, held in place by wood pins which left noticeable marks as small circles visible towards the centre of the protrusions of the lower fruit. The reddish colour, common to many object of the Quimbaya style, is due to the use of tumbaga –gold and copper alloy–, with a high copper content. As a unique trait, this piece has a delicate lid tightly fitting in the mouth of the receptacle. MAU


  • Title: Lime container in the shape of a fruit
  • Creator: Mid-Cauca (Quimbaya) - Early Period
  • Date: -500/700
  • Physical Dimensions: w95 x h110 mm
  • Type: Goldwork
  • External Link: People and Gold in Pre-Hispanic Colombia
  • Technique: Lost wax casting with core, in tumbaga
  • Finding: Colombia, Quindío, Filandia
  • Accession number: O00338

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