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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Chupicuaro Art : Chupicuaro Sculpture of a Woman
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Chupicuaro Sculpture of a Woman - PF.2226
Origin: Chupicuaro, Mexico
Circa: 500 BC to 100 BC
Dimensions: 2.75" (7.0cm) high x 1.625" (4.1cm) 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.

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. - (PF.2226)


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