IU

Indiana University Bloomington IU Bloomington IUB

Vessel in the Form of a Monkey

This charming vessel may simply represent the spider monkey, an animal which ancient Mesoamericans enjoyed because of its playfulness, or it may refer to a monkey deity, who was the patron of scribes, artists, musicians, and dancers. The liveliness of the vessel is aural as well as visual, for when the monkey is moved, it chatters with the rattling of a pebble or other small object sealed inside it.

Veracruz culture, Mexico
Vessel in the Form of a Monkey
Late Classic period, 800–900
Clay
H. 8 5/8 in. (21.9 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Raymond and Laura Wielgus Collection, 95.23