Burial Urn in the Form of a Female Figure

Figural urns found in chambers inside deep shafts tombs in northwestern Colombia. The urns contained human bones, redeposited in these special containers after the flesh was removed either through cremation or burial in the ground for a short period of time. The shaft tomb burials were believed to be vital links to the honored dead, and the bones were perceived as seeds from which new life sprang. By “planting” bones (seeds) in phallic-shaped urns inside womblike chambers in the ground, renewed life would spring from the burials.

Colombia, 1000-1500 AD
Terracotta, 50x27x28 cm
Collection: Walters Art Museum

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