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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Mayan Sculptures : Mayan Sculpture of a Woman
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Mayan Sculpture of a Woman - SP.511
Origin: El Salvador
Circa: 300 AD to 900 AD
Dimensions: 3.50" (8.9cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: UAE
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There is a divine presence in this work. It watches over us as it watched over a deceased Mayan king. Seated with her hands on her knees, this diminutive figurine emits an aura much greater than her stature would suggest. She wears elaborate jewelry, including a beaded necklace with a pendant, a sash seen just beneath her breasts that holds up her skirt, circular ear ornaments, and an enormous arching headdress with projecting bumps. There are also small bumps on her bare shoulders, perhaps the effects of ritual scarifications. Who does this figurine represent? A god? A protective spirit? A deceased relative? Any of these answers might be correct; however, the most revealing factor to the identity and importance of this figurine is the location of its discovery. Found in a tomb, buried alongside a fallen ruler or dignitary, this sculpture was clearly as necessary to have in the afterlife as it was in this world - (SP.511)


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