Basin with Feathered Serpent

Basin with Feathered Serpent


Earthenware, stucco, pigment

Diameter: 16.2 x 34.5 x 34.5 cm (6 3/8 x 13 9/16 x 13 9/16 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1965.20


The serpent covered with the green feathers of the tropical quetzal bird is an image of verdant, bountiful nature and life. It also may be a symbol of rulership, thus linking rulers to cosmic forces and the natural order. Four human hearts lie beneath the serpent on this unusually large basin, suggesting that sacrifice stimulates nature’s fruitfulness.

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