Photos of Nicaragua: Ometepe Island Indian Pottery

Looks amazingly similar to a Chihuahua, but it could be a funny looking piglet.
Looks amazingly similar to a Chihuahua, but it could be a funny looking piglet. | Source
Statue at Altagracia.
Statue at Altagracia. | Source
A petroglyph found in the Maderas Volcano area during the 1995-1999 volunteer survey.
A petroglyph found in the Maderas Volcano area during the 1995-1999 volunteer survey. | Source

Indigenous Artifacts on Ometepe Island

Indigenous artifacts from Ometepe Island, Nicaragua are showcased in a museum that is just outside of the town of Moyogalpa, the largest pueblo of this volcanic island. The museum, El Ceibo, contains these artifacts and a numismatic section as well. To the right is one example of Pre-Columbian pottery recovered from the Ometepe period. More photos are shown below. These artifacts cover the eras known as Orosi (3,000-500 B.C.), Tempisque (500 B.C. - 300 A.D.), Bagaces (300-800 A.D.), Sapoa (800-1350 A.D.) and Ometepe (1350-1550 A.D.).

Other types of artifacts left behind by the early inhabitants of this Island include statues and petroglyphs. Four of the statues are in Altagracia and one is shown to the right. Many petroglyphs have also been found on the island. During a survey period from 1995 to 1999 around the Maderas Volcano, volunteer workers found 72 sites that contained about 1400 boulders with petroglyphs.


Burial Urns

During the Sapoa period, tribes in the region used burial urns that were, more or less, shaped like a large, inflated shoe with an opening above the ankle region. The opening of the urn was covered by an inverted bowl. These urns were called Sacasa-striated Shoe-pots. The shoe-pots are decorated in the toe-region with different designs, some looking like dragon flies and others which are difficult to describe. Check out this link for a detail photo I took: RandyM RedGage.

On Ometepe Island these burial urns could contain skeletal remains. In some cases, the bones would surround the urn. In surrounding areas of Nicaragua, the urns could be used exclusively for burial of young infants and children, or they may contain only skeletal remains and teeth. Cremation practices seem to be associated with the lack of skeletal remains in many discovered urns in the Rivas region of Nicaragua.

Pots for Burials at Ometepe

Funerary urns and pots (ollas) that have been found on Ometepe.  Ollas were used following the Sapoa period.
Funerary urns and pots (ollas) that have been found on Ometepe. Ollas were used following the Sapoa period. | Source

More Museo Ceibo Artifacts

Pots from the Bagaces Period.  Why do they have two raised openings?
Pots from the Bagaces Period. Why do they have two raised openings? | Source
Odd piece from the Bagaces Period.  Like something one could encounter in nightmares.
Odd piece from the Bagaces Period. Like something one could encounter in nightmares. | Source
Orosi Period tools.
Orosi Period tools. | Source
Sapoa Period figurine and other artifacts.
Sapoa Period figurine and other artifacts. | Source
The most unusual piece from the Ometepe Period.
The most unusual piece from the Ometepe Period. | Source

References Pertinent to Ometepe Indian Artifacts

1. McCafferty, S, et al. 2011. Raising the Dead: Mortuary Patterns in Pacific Nicaragua. Pre-Conceptualizing Nicaraguan Prehistory. Soc. Amer. Archeol., Sacramento, California.

2. Wikipedia Espanol. Museos El Ceibo

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Comments 2 comments

Derdriu 4 years ago

Randy, What a compelling, creative, curious collection of artifacts may be found in Ometepe Island's ancient coin and pottery museum! It's amazing how much variety can be seen in the examples of pots and tools ... and of creativity in the depictions of animals, devils/gods, and people in the statues and vessels. What was in the coins section?

Thank you for sharing,

Derdriu


Randy M. profile image

Randy M. 4 years ago from Liberia, Costa Rica Author

Hi Derbriu, I don't remember a coins section at this museum, but it is common knowledge among historians that cocoa beans were a form of money used by indigenous tribes in Central America, Costa Rica. I am sure that bartering was common as well.

I just found out today that I had some outstanding comments on my hubs, including yours. I discovered the comments tab on the left side of the account page. I suppose I will keep discovering things about Hub Pages as I go along.

Thanks for you thoughtful comment.

Randy

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