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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Veracruz Art : Remojadas Sculptural Fragment of a Smiling Head
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Remojadas Sculptural Fragment of a Smiling Head - PF.3095
Origin: Veracruz, Mexico
Circa: 250 AD to 600 AD
Dimensions: 4.25" (10.8cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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This extraordinary sculpture of a young boy's smiling face captures viewers' eyes in an instant. The clay sculpture of a small head shows triangular flathead with two small holes on each side. The eyes appear to be almost closed and the mouth is open due to the big smile. Intricate detail is evident in the portrayal of teeth and tongue. Such smiling face sculptures date back to early classical period in Vera Cruz. They usually show children standing or sitting down, and their faces are triangular and flattened towards the top. In these sculptures, children smile or seem to want to hide their laughter with natural gesture. One hypothesis is that they represent sacrificial victims who were ritually intoxicated before putting to death. To our surprise, behind this seemingly innocent smiling face is a tale of human sacrifice. Ancient Meso- Americans usually chose perfect young men for their sacrificial rituals and such impeccable beauty is clearly portrayed in this delicate sculpture. - (PF.3095)


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