The Olmecs were the first great civilization of the
New World, with an empire that stretched
throughout Mexico and Central America. Much of
Olmec culture remains shrouded in mystery, a
puzzle yet to be deciphered. There is a haunting
ambiguity about Olmec art; it appears to operate
on many different levels of meaning. This superb
little sculpture epitomizes much of that mystery.
It depicts a figure that seems part human, part
animal, neither old nor young, and neither male
nor female. Does this reflect reality or
imagination? In the presence of this hypnotic
figure, we realize that not everything in life
follows a logical pattern.