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Tairona Poporo (Calero)

This lime container was made from a pear shaped gourd. Overall color is deep red with simple black lines. Fragile yellow/brown cotton twine enwraps a piece of bark paper around the neck with several attached seed pods. The calero was hung around an individuals neck to use while chewing coca leaves. This item is extremely rare in its state as it still retains some of its original white powder called "cal", an alkaline substance. Used to sweeten the chew and increased the stimulation effects. In this region, most certainly made from crushed roasted seashells. The containers shape and how it was initially used was significant in a marriage ceremony. They admired the shape as it was said to be the woman's body and the dipper or spatula was used in symbolizing the act of deflowering his bride. Completely intact with original inner content retained. North western Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Columbia. 900-1500AD. Measures 4.5"/ 11.43cm. Ultra rare find.

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