Poporo Quimbaya is a precolumbian artpiece of the classic quimbaya period, currently exhibited in the Gold Museum in Bogota, Colombia. Its primary use was as a ceremonial device for chewing of coca leaves during religious ceremonies. It was made around 300 B.C. with a lost-wax casting process.
It is believed that the artpiece was stolen from a burial chamber in the early 1930's, on Loma del Pajarito ("Birdie Hill") near Yarumal in the Antioquia department, where, at the time, the grave robbing of indigenous tombs was very common, often ending with destruction of important archeological pieces in order to extract the gold.
In 1939 the Republic Bank, purchased the poporo, as an effort to preserve it from destruction. This began a larger project of preservation of precolumbian goldwork that allowed the creation of Gold Museum.
The Poporo Quimbaya is an unusual piece, made of tumbaga, with oddly minimalistic lines, that give it a modern look. It is one of the most recognized precolumbian artpieces, being often used as a symbol of the indigenous precolumbian culture. It has been depicted in the Colombian currency, in coins and bills.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Poporo Quimbaya