Overall: 25.6 cm (10 1/16 in.)
Gift of the Hanna Fund 1957.22
Coca-leaf chewing was a widespread ritual in ancient South America. Utensils included a container and a dipper or spoon for powdered lime (made from seashells), added to the coca to enhance its gentle, stimulating effect. Colombian cultures are especially known for transforming these utensils into works of art made of precious metal.
The image on the tallest dipper is wonderfully complex. A serpent coils at the bottom, beneath a
snarling animal with a huge, vertical tail. This animal has a tiny monkey on its back; the monkey also has a huge tail, which rests on the first animal's head like a headdress. This intricate image was created with the lost-wax casting process.
The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.
All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.