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§ Beautifully modeled urn of the god of lightning and rain, Cocijo. He is sitting in a hieratic position. His head is covered by a crown with a circular band with a tiara symbolizing a stylized head of Puma or Ocelot (according to legend the Zapotec are descendants of these animals). This band holds exotic feathers arranged in a fan shape (it is highly probable that these crowns of feathers were worn by nobles, considered by the people as the representativesof the gods on earth). His nose is covered with an ornament typical to this god, in the shape of a feline muzzle, his earsare decorated with large circular ornaments called "tambas".He wears an huipil on his chest and a rich necklace with a spectacular pendant, probably evoking the Glyph of rain or lightning. The Zapotecs, like their neighbours the Maya, had a writing system composed of glyphs or ideograms that have not been deciphered to this day. Cocijo is one of the two main deities, along with Coquihani, god of light, and many ceremonies were dedicated to him, which were intended to honor him in order to reap the benefits of his agricultural work and harvests. These urns were not made to preserve the ashes of an ancestor but to decorate niches arranged at each cardinal corner in a rectangular niche. Many examples of urns of this type have been discovered, this work is distinguished by its size, its state of preservation, its provenance and the richness of its iconography. Beige and brown terracotta Zapotec, Monte Alban IIIA, classical period 250 to 700 AD26.5 X 26 X 15 cm Provenance: former Samuel Dubiner collections 1960, 1970 (many objects from the Dubiner collection were exhibited at the Bezalel Museum in Jerusalem in 1960 and at the National Museum in Tokyo in 1961) then Barry Kermerman, Toronto

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