Face Neck Bottle

Date: 10th–16th century

Geography: Colombia, Cauca River

Culture: Quimbaya

Medium: Ceramic

Dimensions: H. 8 7/8 x W. 5 in. (22.5 x 12.7 cm)

Classification: Ceramics-Containers

Credit Line: Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Howard Russell Hartman, 1970

Accession Number: 1970.246.6


This striking vessel is a stirrup bottle with a face at the top of the spouts, a relatively uncommon form in Colombia. However, examples have been found among funerary offerings in the middle Cauca River area. The joined spouts on these bottles invariably form a human head with modeled features that are similar to those of the region's full-figure vessels. The bottle opens on the top of the head like full-figure examples. The ears and nose are pierced to hold ornaments. The thick spouts and globular chamber bear characteristic geometric resist designs in black on white and red. In tombs, full-figure vessels are said to be placed in rows flanking the body of the deceased or positioned at the head. It is possible that these two-spouts-with-head bottles were used in the same fashion.