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

This poporo or lime receptacle with suspension handles, clearly in the Quimbaya style of the early period in the Mid Cauca, was part of an exceptional funeral trousseau found in Antioquia on the Colombian Central Mountain Range, towards the Magdalena River where the rivers are rich in gold. The trousseau was composed of 16 pieces, notorious due to their seize, sobriety and manufacture, including helmets and crowns, a chest plate, receptacles for lime and coca leaves and necks of containers. The quality of the objects evidences the high social class of the owner or owners.

The piece was manufactured in tumbaga –a gold and copper alloy– in reddish colour, a material favoured by the goldsmiths of the time, by using the technique of lost wax casting with a clay and carbon inner core. According to a technical study of the object, it was manufactured in two successive casting sessions, joined together in the lower part of the object, probably to avoid problems related to manufacturing an object of that size and complexity. Like many other receptacles of the Quimbaya style, this is a slender imitation of a totuma, the fruit of the Crescentia cujete, where the hard skin was and is still used as raw material to manufacture many articles. MAU.


  • Title: Lime container in the shape of a fruit
  • Creator: Mid-Cauca (Quimbaya) - Early Period
  • Date: -500/700
  • Physical Dimensions: w180 x h185 mm
  • Type: Goldwork
  • External Link: The Working of Metals room
  • Technique: Lost wax casting in tumbaga
  • Finding: Colombia, Antioquia, Puerto Nare
  • Accession number: O32854

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