Title: Jar

Date: ca. 1960
Culture: Shipibo
Material: Painted earthenware
Size: 22.5” H x 28” Diam.
Credit: Museum Purchase
On View: No*

The Shipibo live in the Amazonian jungle region of Peru. They have maintained a strong, tribal identity, despite having contact with Europeans and Peruvians for more than 300 years. Today, their population is approximately 35,000 and spread throughout more than 300 villages. Over time, decorated pottery has become a major economic stimulus for the Shipibo.

Shipibo ceramics are judged on their aesthetic aspects by community members, so potters place a great deal of emphasis on creating pleasing shapes and carefully executed designs. This particular jar is called a chomo and was used for a variety of purposes. It may have been used for the fermentation of a “beer” made from rice, corn, or barley. Originally, chewed grains were gathered in the jars. Over time, the natural fermentation process would turn into a low-alcohol beverage called masato or chicha

* A similar item is on display

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