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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Mayan Sculptures : Mayan Seated Dwarf Effigy Vessel
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Mayan Seated Dwarf Effigy Vessel - PF.2523
Origin: Campeche, Mexico
Circa: 550 AD to 800 AD
Dimensions: 6.75" (17.1cm) high
Catalogue: V12
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: UAE
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Jaina, an island necropolis on the Yucatan peninsula, dating from 300 to 1000 A.D., is renowned for its delicate ceramic figurines that were hand modeled or mold made with exquisitely fine detail, as revealed in this dramatic male dwarf effigy vessel. Found in burials adjacent to two ceremonial complexes whose pyramids and buildings are now much destroyed, these figures display a remarkable diversity of subject matter and a variety of poses, gestures, costumes and adornment. Here we see the poignant image of the seated male dwarf, whose multi-curved body evidences his corpulence. He sits with foreshortened arms and legs placed in front of him, hands and feet facing the viewer in a most captivating pose, his elite status in Mayan society evidenced by the large shell necklace that hangs from his neck. A distinctive facial expression, when combined with the dwarf’s body posture and the hornlike protrusions on his head, lends both a magical and mystical quality to this figure. Perhaps he is a revered priest whose ancient incantations we are fortunate to be witnessing. Whatever his ancient role, this captivating figure is steeped in the mysteries of the Mayan civilization, a magnificent culture that continues to intrigue us, so many centuries after its zenith. - (PF.2523)


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