Pre-Columbian & Western Arts
The collection of Pre Columbian art donated by Mr & Mrs Heeramaneek represents the principal cultures of the Pre- Columbian world. There are pieces of art from Mexico, Peru, Argentina, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and other regions of South America.
This is a rare and unique collection and perhaps the only one of its kind in India. It includes gold and silver utensils and ornaments, decorated earthen pots, terracotta figurines, stone implements, stone sculptures, various grave-goods and objects used in games and architectural elements. There are also some beautiful examples of the famous Coptic textiles from Egypt.
The Olmec culture from Mexico is characterized by huge stone sculptures representing human heads, as well as small sculptures in jade and other stones. These people are credited with the origin of writing, numerals, the astronomically based calendar and the dating system, which were adopted by other Mexican and Central American people.
The Totonec, Mayan, Zapotec and Aztec peoples had a tradition of stone architecture and producing a wide range of art objects including stone sculptures, pottery, terracotta figurines, murals, metal objects and illustrated manuscripts.
In Peru, the oldest culture known as Chavin ( 1200 to 400 B.C.E.) extended its influence over a great part of the Andes and Coastal regions. It is typified with monumental stone architecture, carved in a stylized linear pattern. A few examples of stone carving, a small puma in typically stylized form and some linear decorated bowls are all part of the Heeramaneck collection.