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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 49.djvu/675

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THE POTTER'S ART AMONG NATIVE AMERICANS.

Africa. This may indicate that the individual depicted on the burner was a Maya. The Mayas never deformed their skulls, and some of them filed their teeth in just this way, as can be seen in the statue called Chaacmol, unearthed by Dr. Le Plongeon. A duplicate of the statue is in the museum at Washington.

About forty miles south of Mugeres Island, and ten from the east coast of Yucatan, is the abiding place of Spring, the lovely island of Cozumel, almost uninhabited now. When the Spaniards arrived there, three hundred and sixty-five years ago, it had a hundred thousand inhabitants, besides an annual concourse of fifty thousand pilgrims that worshiped at its temples. This "place of swallows" (cuzamil, hence Cozumel) is an interesting spot for the antiquary. In the dense forests there are curious old buildings, and round about them, beneath the surface of the ground, may be found many a specimen of the ceramic art. Illustration No. 7 shows a fine incense-burner from there, with scarcely a blemish, and similar to the one so unfortunately broken at Mugeres Island. Its ornamentation represents the goddess of the bees. Like the other, this forehead shows no artificial deformity. The clay was of fine quality and in color a rich red brown, while the broken burner was of a light yellowish clay found only on the mainland. After examining hundreds of specimens we PSM V49 D675 Incense burner from cozumel.jpgFig. 7. are inclined to believe that among those people individuals were given names suggested by some trait in their character or peculiarity of appearance, and that the artists ingeniously indicated such appellations in a headdress or other ornament. In some instances such headgear as this was used in battle.

Pottery from Palenque exhibits entirely different features. The two vases here given (Fig. 8) are in the Government House of Balize, British Honduras. Here we see the Palenque type, with artificially deformed forehead. The way in which the hair is curled and banged suggests a very rakish Bacchus, appropriate ornamentation Fig. 7.

for an antique punch bowl. The Honduranians seem to have been as ingenious as the Peruvians in their terra-cotta works. We have before us two jars which appear to be glazed in imitation of bronze. One is intended to represent an armadillo, the other a familiar domesticated hen that cackles melodiously when the water gushes from her open