Returned to lender The Met accepts temporary loans of art both for short-term exhibitions and for long-term display in its galleries.

Cylinder vessel


Not on view

The surreal creatures that populate these vessels—a man decapitating himself; a jaguar set on fire while standing on his front legs—pertain to the realm of dreams and spirits that manifest while sleeping. Indeed, captions on each vessel identify the characters as way (dreams) belonging to lords of specific cities. These images relate to acts of sorcery—powerful people could harness them to inflict sickness and damage on their enemies.

Vasija cilíndrica
Guatemala o México
Siglo VII al IX
Cerámica, pigmento

Las criaturas surrealistas que muestra esta vasija –un hombre que se decapita a sí mismo, un jaguar en llamas parado sobre sus patas delanteras– pertenecen al ámbito de los sueños o seres que se manifiestan mientras se duerme. De hecho, las anotaciones en este recipiente identifican a los personajes como way (sueños) que pertenecían a los señores de ciudades específicas. Estos seres se relacionan con actos de brujería; es decir, que podían ser utilizados por poderosas personas para provocar enfermedades o dañar a sus enemigos.

Cylinder vessel, Ceramic, pigment, Maya

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.

Yale University Art Gallery, photo by Justin Kerr