Ritual Spatula or Swallow Stick
Arts of the Americas
The Taino of the Caribbean islands centered their religion on the worship of zemis, or deities. Shamans (behiques) served as intermediaries between supernatural and natural worlds. They communicated with deities by inhaling cohoba powder, a hallucinogen that was mixed with tobacco to maximize its effect. Carved spoons were used to ladle the powder, which was then inhaled through the nose with a tube. Before ingestion, the shaman purified himself by purging with a vomiting stick. Ritual objects of bone and wood such as the ones seen here were exquisitely carved with images of zemis, who helped the shaman achieve ecstatic states.
Los Taíno de las islas Caribeñas centraban su religión en la adoración de zemis o deidades. Los chamanes (behiques) servían como intermediarios entre los mundos sobrenatural y natural. Ellos se comunicaban con las deidades mediante la inhalación del polvo de cohoba, un alucinógeno que se mezclaba con tabaco para maximizar su efecto. Cucharas talladas se usaban para verter el polvo, el cual era inhalado con un tubo por la nariz. Antes de ingerirlo, el chamán se purificaba purgándose con una espátula para vomitar. Objetos rituales de hueso y madera como los que se ven aquí estaban exquisitamente tallados con imágenes de zemis, quienes ayudaban al chamán a alcanzar el estado de trance.
6 1/2 x 1 1/4 x 2 1/2 in. (16.5 x 3.2 x 6.4 cm) (show scale)
This item is not on view
Taino. Ritual Spatula or Swallow Stick, 1200-1500. Bone, 6 1/2 x 1 1/4 x 2 1/2 in. (16.5 x 3.2 x 6.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Anonymous gift, 1997.175.1. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1997.175.1.jpg)
overall, 1997.175.1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license
. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.
Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact email@example.com
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.