K'iché burial or cache urn lid

Late Classic Period
A.D. 650–850

Object Place: K'iche, Guatemala, Southern Highlands

The semi-hemispherical lid of this burial or cache urn is embellished with a sculpted and painted rendering of a seated anthropomorphic bat with large round ears, open mouth, protruding tongue, and front paws resting on bent knees. The bat wears a twisted scarf and crenelated collar, which may make reference to one of the supernatural jaguars associated with the underworld and sacrifice. The side of the lid is embellished with two wide strap handles flanked by double vertical rows of large spikes painted white. These resemble the spiked white trunk of the ceiba tree.

A large-eared bat perches on this urn, whose body combines images of a jaguar with the spikes of the “ceiba” tree, the mythic world tree-pillar of the universe and conduit to the spiritual realm.


Executed a decade after Oller’s second Parisian sojourn, this painting demonstrates how he blended European painting with uniquely Puerto Rican subject matter and light effects. In this lush tropical scene, he captured the dappled light of the Caribbean in a loose, Impressionist-inspired style. He depicted a ceiba (silk-cotton tree) under which the indigenous Taíno had worshipped in the days prior to the first contact with Europeans. This tree still stands in the Puerto Rican city of Ponce.

The work features daily life (women washing clothes in the river) while referencing a historically and spiritually charged site on the island, thereby reinforcing the painter’s intense identification with the place of his birth.

Francisco Oller (Puerto Rican, 1833–1917) Old Ceiba Tree at Ponce, 1887–88. Museo de Arte de Ponce, Puerto Rico, The Luis A. Ferré Foundation, Inc.


La Ceiba de la Libertad, San Germán, Puerto Rico

El árbol de ceiba se encuentra mayormente en el trópico. Su inmensa apariencia es lo que asombra y cautiva la atención e imaginación de todos. Este árbol en particular se conoce como La Ceiba de la Libertad, y reside en el pueblo de San Germán, Puerto Rico.

Al costado de este encontramos una placa que lee:
En el año 1897 al iniciarse en Puerto Rico el Gobierno autónomo una gran fiesta se celebro y se sembró la ceiba conmemorativa en la loma la cual obtuvo el nombre del Cerro de la Libertad. La ceiba continua en pleno desarrollo al final de la Calle Esperanza. Ubicada en la propiedad de la Familia Almodovar.
TROPA 122″

Fue una experiencia muy especial conocer a este gigante, que si pudiera hablar, la cantidad de lecciones y cátedra que compartiera sobrepasaría nuestra duración en esta vida.

Feliz domingo, amigos.
Disfruten su semana!


Today marks 14 years since the death of a truly talented and beautiful soul. Lisa Nicole Lopes {Best known as Left Eye} was born May 27, 1971 {at the age of 30} in Philadelphia PA and tragically lost her life due to a fatal car accident April 25, 2002, in La Ceiba, Honduras. She was part of the #1 hit girl group TLC since 1990 and she was best known for her fearlessness and poetic raps. Please visit lisalopesfoundation.org for more on Left Eye’s life and accomplishments. Rest in Heavenly Paradise! We miss you!


Incense Burner Stand

Colima, Mexico. 900-1200 AD

Large incense burner stands are a hallmark of the Postclassic period in Colima. The stands likely were placed on altars or the exteriors of temples, a low dish with burning coals and incense being placed either atop the columnar stand or underneath it; the smoke rose through the column and issued from openings in the face. The rounded eyes recall the Central Mexican rain deity Tlaloc, this distinctive representational style perhaps having been appropriated from Central Mexico and adapted by the peoples of Colima as part of socioeconomic interaction. During the Postclassic Period, West Mexican peoples increasingly were in contact with highland Mexico, trading marine resources (especially shells), coveted green stones and other lithic materials, and copper objects made in West Mexico. The spikes and flanges on this stand not only served to dissipate heat absorbed from the burning coals; they also may symbolize the spikes of the ceiba, the tallest tree in the Mesoamerican forest. Among the Maya and other Mesoamerican societies, the ceiba was the model for the World Tree at the center of the cosmos, which maintained the universe’s tripartite structure (heavens, earth, and underworld). The ceiba-World Tree also provided a supernatural pathway for religious practioners’ spiritual journeys among the three realms.

The Walters