The History of Mayan Pottery

The History of Mayan Pottery

A very important aspect of Mayan culture was their love for art. Mayan pottery has been associated with many of the Mayan stories, rituals, and histories of Mayan rulers. The birth of Mayan pottery took place around 250 B.C. where it was used for basic purposes like kitchen utensils, pots, and bowls. Most of this pottery was prepared with simple designs like stripes with a single color only. At the same time, there were lots of human clay figurines found as a part that were part of the Mayan culture. Most of the Mayan creations were made with clay which was collected from the banks of rivers and later was tempered with sand and ashes.

People are amazed at the fact that ancient Mayan potters never used wheels and most of the pottery was hand-molded. After finishing with the design of the vessel, the pottery would be placed in the sun or kept in large holes with ground fires used to harden the clay. As the Mayans practiced the art of pottery they began to develop lots of designs, colors, and painting techniques. Most of the colors used for painting Mayan pottery were extracted from natural resources like earth and plants. The dawn of the Classic Period brought lots of other colors being used for Mayan pottery which were created by combining mineral pigments.

The period of 600 to 900 A.D., also known as Classic Period, was known for the most beautiful Mayan pottery creations. During this period the Mayans experimented with many designs. Some of the most common paintings found on Mayan pottery include Mayan gods, kings, animals and other similar anthropomorphic creatures. These art crafts were used for important rituals like funeral ceremonies, especially after the death of Mayans in a higher social class. The pottery used by middle class houses was less elaborate in nature, and the lower class families owned pottery decorated with a single color only.

The colors used in Mayan pottery were gifts from different cultures starting with the color orange from the state of Tabasco, Mexico. Another popular color used is called Mayan Blue and was highly used in Mayan pottery.

One can find the great ceramics creations of Mayan culture in museums across Mexico. It is believed that the food stored and cooked in Mayan pottery tastes better than food cooked with regular kitchen ware. Most of the Mayan regions still use Mayan pots for storing water. Mayan pottery is still alive and progressing in one form or another around the world.

November 25, 2013


One response to “The History of Mayan Pottery”

  1. Shavel says:

    It is a good thing to do to help students and adults.Keep it up

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