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Imitating from Memory: Hybrid Vessels and Attempted Replications of Stylistic Elements from Central Panama in the Pre-Hispanic Ceramics of Costa Rica

Author(s): John Hoopes

Year: 2015

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Summary

The ceramics of Central America are replete with examples of stylistic influence that represent attempts by local potters to reproduce foreign styles from distant lands. Examples include attempts to reproduce elements of Late Classic Maya styles in ceramics of the "southern periphery" of Mesoamerica. This paper presents evidence for attempted but imperfect and even inept reproduction of elements from the opposite direction—territories far to the south and east—by identifying elements of Coclé-style designs typical of central Panama in both bichrome and polychrome vessels of northwestern and eastern Costa Rica between ca. AD 300 and 1300. The specific divergences between these part-imitation, part-local objects and the vessels from whose styles they borrow suggest that these hybrids were not the products of permanent migrants, itinerant potters with practiced knowledge of their own ceramic styles, nor direct copies from imported models, but rather reproductions from memory of elements that had been observed during long-distance interactions between ceramic artists of Costa Rica and Panama. They are interpreted as evidence for inter-ethnic appropriation of ideas and symbolism between distinct communities in the Isthmo-Colombian area.

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Cite this Record

Imitating from Memory: Hybrid Vessels and Attempted Replications of Stylistic Elements from Central Panama in the Pre-Hispanic Ceramics of Costa Rica. John Hoopes. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396356)


Keywords

General
Coclé Costa Rica Panama

Geographic Keywords
Central America


Spatial Coverage

min long: -94.702; min lat: 6.665 ; max long: -76.685; max lat: 18.813 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America