Link to enlarge vase K7784 &#copy; Justin Kerr Charles Zidar

Family:  Curcurbitaceae
Genus:  Lagenaria
Species:  siceraria
Authority:  (Molina) Standl.
Common Name:  gourd
Maya Name:  Homa’
Depictions:  Gourd
Maya Plant Use:  Products, ornamental use, food, medicine and poison Gourds were used by the Maya as vessels in place of ceramics. Few exist to this day. This vessel is made of clay and mimics a gourd. This ornate piece is that of Lagenaria siceraria and is decorated with glyphs and pictographs.
Botanical Significance:  Many members of the Cucurbitaceae family were of great importance to the ancient Maya and thus frequently depicted in Maya art. The gourd was primarily used as a liquid (beverage) vessel similar to the calabash fruit. Given the usefulness of the gourd to the ancient Maya is not surprising for it to be found in the archaeological record. It can be assumed that many were used in ancient times but few have survived to this day.
Photos:  Click on an image below for high resolution comparison.

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