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Post Lot Text
QUIMBAYA GOLD POPORO LID
CA. A.D. 500-1000
The lime container consisting of a spherical gourd surmounted by a gold neck flaring into a flattened, pierced mushroom-shaped cap with banded collar, with a separate lime dipper finial in the form of three large rattles.
In Andean South America, there is an indigenous tradition for the ritual use of coca leaves. Poporos are containers that hold the lime used in coca-leaf chewing. The lime flasks are often equipped with a small stick or dipper, which is moistened in the mouth, dipped in the powdered lime (calcined sea shells), and then chewed to assist in extracting the coca alkaloids from the leaves
Poporos continue to be used by indigenous groups such as the Kogi and Ika of the Sierra Nevada in shamanic rituals and male initiation rites.
The Quimbaya goldsmiths were among the most accomplished artists of the New World. Ignoring the usage of sheet-gold commonly used by the other Andean cultures, instead they handled gold as the artisans of other civilizations handled bronze. Their attention was most lavished on three dimensional and figural Poporos-the most important group extant at the Museo de las Americas in Madrid since the late 19th century, "They are at a high point in the handling of gold as a material for sculpture in pre-Columbian America." (Emmerich, pg. 69)