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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Chupicuaro Art : Chupicuaro Sculpture of a Female Ballplayer
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Chupicuaro Sculpture of a Female Ballplayer - PF.0625
Origin: Chupicuaro, Mexico
Circa: 350 BC to 250 BC
Dimensions: 3.625" (9.2cm) high x 1.875" (4.8cm) wide
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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The remains of a once vibrant culture are now submerged under a lake. Fortunately, excavations in the 1940's on the site were able to uncover sufficient artifacts to give us an intriguing picture of people who lived there centuries ago. Chupicuaro was the elaborate burial ground of a village above the Lerma River in the state of Guanajuato, eighty miles northwest of the Valley of Mexico. The abundant offerings of pottery, jade, and figurines discovered there attest to a flourishing artistic culture. One of the most endearing types of the clay objects is the small female figures, or 'pretty ladies'. They typically show a naked female with short arms, extended stomach and a fancy coiffure or headdress.

We should not be fooled by the delicate appearance of this Mesoamerican beauty with her coffee-bean eyes. The deflector on her arm and the weights on her feet suggest she is a player in the ballgame, a rough and grueling event. This somehow takes us by surprise--we expect these primitive female figures to be either mothers or goddesses. It is as if Venus herself had decided to become an athlete. - (PF.0625)


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