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.
Rendered with a few pinched details of clay, this
figure belongs to a tradition of fertility
goddesses that is almost as civilization itself.
Representing the abundant female form, this
little votive height has been buried in an Ancient
Mexican tomb to assure rebirth and continuity.
She is sister to the near eastern Asterte, the
Egyptian Isis, and the classical Aphrodite. Full of
a timeless and benevolent energy, she represents
the eternally female. No matter what our cultural
background, we are drawn to her ageless power.