Indiana University Bloomington IU Bloomington IUB


The most common Pre-Columbian metal objects, bells were worn as necklaces, anklets, and attachments to clothing, and were carried as dance rattles. While the round face and puffy cheeks and eyelids of this bell recall the Maya Fat God, we cannot identify it positively, nor are we certain whether the bell, cast using the lost-wax process, was made by a Maya craftsman. This bell is said to have been found in the mountains of Honduras just outside the Maya area, but metal objects were apparently traded over a wide territory, and cast objects and copper ingots were imported into the Maya area from both present-day Honduras and Mexico. It is impossible to say whether this bell was made by an itinerant foreign smith working to suit Maya taste or by a native Maya smith.

Maya (?) culture, Quimistán, Santa Bárbara, Honduras (?)
Late Classic/Early post-Classic period, 900–1100
H. 4 5/8 in. (11.7 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Raymond and Laura Wielgus Collection, 81.32.2