Art/ Collection/ Art Object


13th–15th century
Dominican Republic, Caribbean
Diameter 8-3/4 in. (22.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Mary R. Morgan, Mary O'Boyle II and Mr. and Mrs. Frederick E. Landmann Gifts; The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Gift of Nelson A. Rockefeller and Bequest of Nelson A. Rockefeller, by exchange, and Gift of Nathan Cummings, by exchange, 1982
Accession Number:
Not on view
The Taino people of the islands of the Greater Antilles, which include Cuba, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, and Jamaica, made highly distinctive ceramic vessels during Precolumbian times. Fabricated of matte-surfaced fired clay with a minimum of decoration, Taino ceramics are pleasingly spontaneous in the finished product. Bowls are many and come in shapes that range from open, shallow examples, such as this, to deep vessels with almost closed-off tops. Decorative and/or symbolic elaboration appears on the upper portion of the vessel, where it is often incised, or on the rim, where it takes three-dimensional form. Characteristically, whether the bowl is deep or shallow, pairs of "handles" are present on either side of the top. The handles here are modeled in the shape of the bat heads that peer over the edge of the bowl and hands that grip the edge. Associated with night, darkness, and death, bats frequently appear in Taino art.
Vincent P. Fay, New York, ca. 1968–1982

Related Objects

Pendant Figure

Artist: Date: 13th–15th century
Accession Number: 1997.35.3
Date: 13th–15th century Medium: Stone Accession: 1997.35.3 On view in:Gallery 358

Deity Figure (Zemí)

Artist: Date: 13th–15th century
Accession Number: 1979.206.1209
Date: 13th–15th century Medium: Sandstone Accession: 1979.206.1209 On view in:Gallery 358

Bowl with a Horseman Spearing a Serpent

Artist: Date: late 1300s or early 1400s
Accession Number: 41.100.173
Date: late 1300s or early 1400s Medium: Tin-glazed earthenware Accession: 41.100.173 On view in:Gallery 307


Artist: Date: 13th–15th century
Accession Number: 1982.48.3
Date: 13th–15th century Medium: Ceramic Accession: 1982.48.3 On view in:Not on view

Bowl with Incised Lotus Flowers

Artist: Date: second half 17th century or later
Accession Number: 11.137.1
Date: second half 17th century or later Medium: Stonepaste; incised under transparent glaze (Gombroon ware) Accession: 11.137.1 On view in:Gallery 462