Amphora-shaped vessel with repeating diamond and dot, negative-resist patterns.


Piartal culture, Colombia , Highland Narino area, Pre-Columbian

750 - 1250

The patterns on this vessel evoke animal or snake skins. An artist used a resist method, applying resin or wax to block later applications of colors. By removing the resin, he revealed the lighter-colored patterns.

The Piartal culture flourished in the mountainous region on the Colombia-Ecuador border for 500 years. They used vessels of this type in secondary burials—the practice of reburying the bones of the dead with jewelry and other valuables.