This 16th-century Peruvian vessel is a winsome example of an innovative hybrid ceramic form. It combines a traditional northern Peruvian vessel shape and manufacturing technique with the nonindigenous finishing technique of glazing. Spanish colonists introduced glazed ceramics into Peru after the 1532 conquest, and local potters quickly adopted the use of lead glazes. Many early Peruvian glazed vessels exhibited traditional forms and ornamentation, but potters also produced new designs and vessel forms for both indigenous and colonial consumers. Here, the forthright figure of a confident woman forms the upper portion of this long-necked stirrup jar—a new depiction on an old form. This vessel was likely produced in a workshop on the north coast of Peru. Joseph Beal Steere acquired it in Cajamarca, a market town in the northern highlands, in the early 1870s.
In honor of the University of Michigan’s 2017 bicentennial, we are celebrating the remarkable archaeological and ethnographic collections and rich legacy of research and teaching at the Museum of Anthropological Archaeology by posting one entry a day for 200 days. The entries will highlight objects from the collections, museum personalities, and UMMAA expeditions. The Kelsey Museum of Archaeology is also posting each day for 200 days on Twitter and Facebook (follow along at #KMA200). After the last post, an exhibition on two centuries of archaeology at U-M opens at the Kelsey. Visit the exhibit—a joint project of the UMMAA and the Kelsey—from October 18, 2017 to May 27, 2018.