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Ceramic | Terracotta | Fired Clay 


Object Type

Containers and Vessels


Ceramic | Terracotta | Fired Clay

Country of Origin

El Salvador


Secretaría de Cultura de la Presidencia


Import restricted since 1987 for the Cara Sucia region and since 1995 for all of El Salvador.
Section 3a of Designated List in force since 1995.

Polychrome Vessels
Nicoya Polychrome: Hemispherical bowls, bowls with rounded to almost flat bases and flaring walls (these may have three hollow cylindrical or conical supports with effigy decoration as an option, often in the form of bird heads), cylindrical vases with ring bases, jars. Red, black, and yellow paint was applied over a very smooth white slip with a ‘‘soapy’’ texture. Usually over half of the vessel was left white. Designs include registers with geometric designs, human figures, and others. Rare vessels may have unusual forms and appendages.
Dating: Early Postclassic.
Size: Bowls range from 6–11’’ (15–28 cm) in diameter; cylindrical vases range from 6.5–12’’ (17–30 cm) in height.
Formal Names: Long called Nicoya Polychrome due to its relationship with the different varieties grouped under that name first defined for Nicaragua and Costa Rica. The variety found in El Salvador differs sufficiently from those varieties in forms and decoration to be considered as an additional type.

Example shown: Nicoya polychrome vase, Post Classic period.

For import restrictions in force from 1987, see History of Import Restrictions below.

> CPIA Import Restriction Designated List

> History of Import Restrictions

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