The scientific tourist #277 — Ducks and Rabbits

A Mimbres Black-and-white bowl at the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology in Albuquerque, New Mexico:

Ducks and rabbits

From the placard:

One theme in Mimbres representational pots is the division of a bowl into halves, each half usually a reversed mirror image of the other, although small details are sometimes different. This birotational symmetry often utilizes strong positive-negative painting around the interior edges to frame the scene, which usually contains animal forms. For example, in this bowl, two ducks are hidden within the negative (white) picture of two rabbits. This manipulation of design imagery is part of the appeal of this elaborate and poetically fanciful artistic tradition.

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