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Potters at Santarem: Brazil
Copyright 1988 Max Dashu
The woman is wearing a typically Ecuadorian headdess, such as is seen on countless clay figurines in ancient times. She also wears gold earrings, a nose ring, and a heavy beaded necklace. The metate on which she is grinding corn is of stone, carved in the image of a jaguar. Others have been found with heads of parrots and reptiles, and similar metates have been found in Costa Rica. Ecuador carried on extensive trade by boat, as far north as western Mexico.
Behind her, from left, are a stone stela from the Manabí culture, many of which show women in the throes of childbirth or sexual ecstasy, and patterns from a clay stamp used in making prints on fabric. (Both are from Ecuador, a country of archaeological riches.)
On the upper right, a jaguar mother from the megalithic San Agustín culture of the Magdalena river in Colombia. Offerings of an ear of corn and a manioc root have been set out in front of her.
At lower left, a glimpse of an Aymara priestess pouring out a libation to Pachamama, Mother Earth, from a ceremonial vessel realistically molded in the shape of corn ears.
Copyright 2000 Max Dashu
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