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 Museum Explorer

Gods and spirits in
the Americas

Lime flask

Height: 14.500 cm

AOA 1940.Am11.2

Lime flask

From: Columbia (Quimbaya)
Date: AD 600-1100

The Quimbaya people of South America chewed the leaves of the coca plant mixed with a powder called lime made from crushed sea-shells. This powerful mixture helped them to concentrate and to communicate with the spirit world.

This is a hollow gold woman who was used to keep the lime in. The peaceful look on her face is how people would have looked as they chewed the coca and lime. The woman is holding plants in her hands, so she may have been used in ceremonies to help ensure a good harvest.