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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Xochipala Art : Xochipala Standing Female Ballplayer
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Xochipala Standing Female Ballplayer - PF.0452
Origin: Western Mexico
Circa: 1200 BC to 900 BC
Dimensions: 6.5" (16.5cm) high
Catalogue: V2
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta


Location: United States
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Description
The name Xochipala has been attached to an early style of figurines and pottery unearthed in the modern Mexican state of Guerrero. Xochipala figures are noteworthy not only for naturalism, but also for their age. The Xochipala style dates to the Early Formative period of Pre- Columbian Mesoamerican history (around 1800- 200 B.C.), making them among the earliest works of figurative art in the region, contemporaneous with the more celebrated Olmec culture of the Gulf Coast. While certain scholars have tried to trace links between the Olmec and Xochipala styles, other scholars have ardently disagreed, making it possible that any artistic similarities may have derived from cross-cultural influences and not direct relations. While the Olmecs may have overshadowed the Xochipala culture in our contemporary popular knowledge of Mesoamerican history, Xochipala figures are almost universally praised by scholars and connoisseurs for their striking naturalistic modeling and sensitive depictions.

Even in a world where sports are a major preoccupation, we cannot fully comprehend the social and ritual significance of the ballgame in ancient Mesoamerica. As this figure demonstrates, women played too, a concept modern society has only recently begun to explore. She stands poised as if anticipating the beginning of the game, very fit and healthy. - (PF.0452)

 

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