Containers and Vessels
Ceramic | Terracotta | Fired Clay
Secretaría de Cultura de la Presidencia
Import restricted since 1987 for the Cara Sucia region and since 1995 for all of El Salvador.
Section 3b of Designated List in force since 1995.
Vessels With Usulután Decoration
Here are included several different varieties of ceramics that prominently feature Usulután decoration as their distinctive trait. Usulután decoration is a negative technique, resulting in lightcolored lines against a darker background. The light lines were achieved by applying a resist substance and then covering the vessel with a slip that fired a darker color. Since this failed to adhere to the areas with resist, these maintained their lighter shade (a simplified explanation). In its most elaborate version, the resist substance was applied with a multiple brush with as many as seven small brushes fastened in a row, allowing the creation of swirling parallel lines. The base color on these vessels ranges from salmon pink to dark yellow, with the lines being a lighter shade of the same. Some varieties have red paint added as rim bands or (in the case of the Chilanga Ceramic Group) simple designs. Formal names for the ceramic groups considered here are: Jicalapa, Puxtla, Izalco, and Chilanga (Sharer 1978, Demarest 1986, Andrews 1976).
Example shown: Maya Usulután Jar, Late Preclassic period.
For import restrictions in force from 1987, see History of Import Restrictions below.