The Valdivia culture is noted for being one of the first American cultures to produce large quantities of ceramics. They mainly fashioned cooking pots, bowls, and dishes, always with an open neck and a concave base. A variety of techniques such as modeling, incisions, and embossing were used to decorate these vessels with geometric motifs, usually after they had been polished. The Valdivia tradition is also known for its figurines, which were initially made from stone but later in ceramic. Most of these represent women in different stages of life such as puberty, pregnancy, and childbirth. The importance of personal adornment to this culture is reflected in figurines with bezotes (lip jewelry), necklaces, and earpieces. These items were generally made from the shells of sea creatures such as the bivalve mollusk Spondylus and the sea snail Strombus, which would later hold great ritual significance for Andean peoples.