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

Family:  Bombacaceae
Genus:  Quararibea
Species:  fieldii/funebris
Authority:  Millsp./Visch.
Common Name:  rosita de cacao
Depictions:  Polychrome ceramics
Maya Plant Use:  Spice, products
Botanical Significance:  This important plant to the ancient Maya was used in preparation of the sacred cacao drink. Flowers were used for a spice in the cacao beverage, whereas the branches were used for cacao frothers (stirring/frothing sticks) to prepare the libation (Flannery 1982).
Ritual Significance:  In the representation of Quararibea fieldii on a cylindrical vessel, its function as a frother plays a major part in its representation. Because the plant was used twice in preparation of the cacao beverage, it seems logical to represent the plant on the vessel. The stout curved petals and the unique fused staminal column support the claim that Quararibea fieldii is represented on this object.
Photos:  Click on an image below for high resolution comparison.

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