Blackware vessels displaying incised decorations form an important subgroup of Tiwanaku
pottery and are classified as fine "Classic" ceramics. This open vessel has a feline/puma
head, flat bottom and tail-handle in rear. Sides are incised with a gorgeous large
prominent avian decoration. The front chest area displays two vertically aligned
closed step pattern.
These vessel were used as ceremonial incense burners/incensarios. Smoke would have
accumulated in the head chamber and cascaded out from the slit of the animals open
mouth. Altiplano Region, Tiwanaku. Ca. 600 A.D