Posted 3 years ago
I purchased this back in the '80s from a retired US Navy officer who had been stationed in the Panama Canal Zone back in the '60s-'70s. He had brought it back as a souvenir, but it was not as you see it now. He opened a cardboard box and pulled out a paper bag with about six or eight fragments. I surmised that at one time the bowl had been broken as part of a sacrifice ritual, or perhaps just ended up in a trash midden. I purchased it "as is" and carefully reassembled it using a water soluble glue. I am told that the fish represent river fish... (Piranhas?) The one intact fish has a clay ball inside representing an egg. I can only surmise that the other fish also had eggs too before that had broken off, but those are lost to time. The egg rolls around when shaken, so the bowl could probably be used as a rattle. I suspect this is pre-contact, but I certainly don't know that for sure. It sits on a high shelf in my library where I don't disturb it for fear of shattering it again. I left it a bit cobwebby for the pictures to capture the "Indiana Jones" aesthetic quality. Approximately 6" tall. It has a couple of small loops on either side where perhaps a lid could have been tied on.