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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 49.djvu/671

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649
THE POTTER'S ART AMONG NATIVE AMERICANS.

prior to the Inca civilization; they are from six to ten inches high. The canopa, an upright bottle, in Fig. 3, is very suggestive, its name calling to mind the canopi, or funeral vases used by ancient Egyptians, though the word is of Maya origin, as Dr. Le Plongeon has fully explained in one of his books. Traveling south of Peru, we find that in Chile, near Santiago, the capital, there is a fragrant clay called buccari, of fine quality and light weight, its color being brown with yellow spots. The inmates of convents convert this into various utensils which they paint, gild, and varnish. It is said that water placed in them has an agreeable perfume and flavor. North of Peru, in Ecuador, near Quito the capital, a similar clay is found.

Chiriqui is an interesting field for students of the ceramic art. Politically Chiriqui is a part of South America, while geographically it belongs to the northern continent. It is between Veragua on the east and Costa Rica on the west. Pottery is most abundant in the lands around the bay of David, though found all along that part of the coast. The Chiriquian modeling shows more symmetry of form than any other on the continent. In graves, from three to twenty pieces are usually found. One explorer obtained ten thousand articles of clay from burial places covering an area of fifty square miles. The ware is uniform. The matrix is of fine clay tempered with pulverized sand. Grains of quartz, feldspar, hornblende, iron oxide, etc., can be detected. Argillaceous matter was sparingly used except in outer coatings, the

PSM V49 D671 Chiriqui pottery bottles.jpg
Fig. 3.

sand in many instances comprising at least seventy-five per cent of the mass.

Some of the work is similar to that in Costa Rica and the Colombian States. The Maypures of Colombia form cylinders of clay, and shape even the largest vases by hand, without any wheel. In Nicaragua, too, clay utensils are formed entirely by