Barakat Gallery
Login | Register | User Services | Search | Newsletter Sign-up
Barakat Gallery
HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Ameca-Ezatlán Style : Ameca-Ezatlán Style Jalisco Terracotta Sculpture of a Seated Woman
Click to view original image.
Ameca-Ezatlán Style Jalisco Terracotta Sculpture of a Seated Woman - CK.0142
Origin: Western Mexico
Circa: 300 BC to 300 AD
Dimensions: 10.75" (27.3cm) high x 8.5" (21.6cm) wide
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
Currency Converter
Place On Hold
Ask a Question
Email to a Friend
Previous Item
Next Item
Photo Gallery
Click photo to change image.
Print image
Click photo to change image.
Print image
Click photo to change image.
Print image
Click photo to change image.
Print image
There are many distinct groups within the agglomeration referred to as the Western Mexico Shaft Tomb (WMST) tradition, foremost among them the Jalisco, Nayarit, and Colima. Their relationships are almost totally obscure due to the lack of contextual information. However, it is the artworks that are the most informative. All of the cultures encompassed under the WMST umbrella were in the habit of burying their dead in socially-stratified burial chambers at the base of deep shafts, which were in turn often topped by buildings. Originally believed to be influenced by the Tarascan people, who were contemporaries of the Aztecs, thermoluminescence has pushed back the dates of these groups over 1000 years.

Although the apogee of this tradition was reached in the last centuries of the 1st millennium BC, it has its origins over 1000 years earlier at sites such as Huitzilapa and Teuchitlan, in the Jalisco region. Little is known of the cultures themselves, although preliminary data seems to suggest that they were sedentary agriculturists with social systems not dissimilar to chiefdoms. These cultures are especially interesting to students of Mesoamerican history as they seem to have been to a large extent outside the ebb and flow of more aggressive cultures – such as the Toltecs, Olmecs and Maya – in the same vicinity. Thus insulated from the perils of urbanization, they developed very much in isolation, and it behooves us to learn what we can from what they have left behind.

There are few cultures in the Americas or indeed elsewhere that can match the Jalisco for exuberant skill in the production of figurative ceramics. These wares were usually placed in graves, and do not seem to have performed any practical function, although highly decorated utilitarian vessels are also known. It is possible that they were designed to depict the deceased – they are often very naturalistic – although it is more probable that they constituted, when in groups, a retinue of companions, protectors and servants for the hereafter. Many of the figures represent warriors, judging from their apparel and martial stance. These were probably protectors of the deceased, symbolic of actual people who were buried with the deceased as retainers in more sanguineous Central and Southern American societies. Supernatural and more enigmatic figures are also known, presumably representing aspects of Jalisco cultural heritage (gods, spirits, ancestors, mythological figures etc) that cannot be understood at the present time. However, perhaps the best- known style is that of the maternity figure.

Through art it is possible to appreciate an entirely different standard of beauty from our own. The unique features of Jalisco ceramic sculpture are beautifully represented in this superb female figure. She is in a crouching position, resting on her knees with her skirt or sarong draped gracefully over her thighs. Arms are extended as if feeling for something, which is unseen but sensed through her wide opened eyes. The occipital bone is extremely elongated in classic Jalisco style, surmounted by a "soft" cap that has been painted black and embellished with beads that encircle her head. Her personal decoration is continued with a beaded necklace and earspools, Dark paint also highlights the area around her eyes, lips and chin. All these elements indicate that this woman was someone of wealth and rank. A very long, sharp nose is in perfect proportion to the high forehead, and both are contrasted to the thick arms and legs. Details such as her individual teeth and fingers have been intricately defined. What captivates us most, apart from pure aesthetic beauty, is this noble woman's intense concentration and focus. The figure’s fecundity, as seen in her protruding breasts, elongated torso, and sturdy thighs, suggests that she symbolized the idea of fertility and life in her original funerary context. - (CK.0142)


Home About Us Help Contact Us Services Publications Search
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy Security

Copyright (c) 2000-2020 by Barakat, Inc. All Rights Reserved - TEL 310.859.8408 - FAX 310.276.1346

coldfusion hosting