funerary vase


The Zapotec civilisation thrived in the Oaxaca Valley of Southern Mexico from 700 BCE to 1500 CE and is noted for its elaborate funerary urns, depicting a range of human and supernatural beings. In the nineteenth century, there was a mania in Europe and North America for authentic ancient Mexican antiquities, and cottage industries sprang up across Mexico creating replicas to be sold as authentic. These were then denounced as fakes, but they do reveal the ways in which even the recreated past has been treated as curiosity and brought in to the home as a form of connection with people who lived thousands of miles away and hundreds of years in the past. This is one such example from the early 20th century is crudely made in the style of Zapotec funerary urns but with prominent features exaggerated for effect. It was collected by Emslie John Horniman.

Collection Information

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