Skip to contentSkip to navigation
Become a Member
Explore today's schedule
Visit MMFA for free by becoming a Member
Learn more
Back
Currently shown

Stirrup Spout Bottle

Location

MEXICO, MICHOACÁN

Era

Late Postclassic period (1200-1521 C.E.)

Culture

Tarascan

Title

Stirrup Spout Bottle

Materials

Earthenware, slip, painted decoration

Dimensions

26.8 x 22.6 x 18.2 cm

Credits

Gift of Rollande and Jean-Claude Bertounesque, inv. 2009.122

Collection

Archeology and World Cultures

At its height, the Tarascan kingdom extended over a territory of approximately 75 000 km2 and was a major rival to the Aztec empire. According to the Relación de Michoacán, a document written about 1540 that was based on oral tradition, the Tarascan, or Purépecha, society was highly hierarchical. Its artisans were organized into guilds and a large part of what they produced was intended to honour deities or meet the needs of elites. Certain types of vessels, including stirrup-spout bottles, seem to have been reserved for people of high rank. Traces of cocoa found in many such bottles indicate they contained precious ingredients, sometimes imported from afar. The circulation of these bottles throughout the area also seems to have played a major role in the creation and maintenance of alliances among the elites.

Add a touch of culture to your inbox
Subscribe to the Museum newsletter

Bourgie Hall Newsletter sign up

This website uses cookies in order to optimize your browsing experience and for promotional purposes. To learn more, please see our policy on the protection of personal Iinformation