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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Art of the Dominican Republic : Taino Stone Zemi Sculpture
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Taino Stone Zemi Sculpture - RP.103
Origin: Dominican republic
Circa: 1000 AD to 1500 AD
Dimensions: 5" (12.7cm) high x 1.75" (4.4cm) wide
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Stone

Location: UAE
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This stone sculpture represents a zemi, a religious sculpture understood as being an object of concentrated power with the ability to affect its owner both positively and negatively in regards to productivity and fertility as well as in the political and social realms. Such sculptures were depictions of an ancestor or deity and were kept in sacred areas separated from the houses of their owners.

The figure kneels on a short pedestal with his feet tucked beneath him while his hands are bent at the elbow and held above the knees as if in supplication. The naked and emaciated skeletal appearance is further emphasized through its large sunken orbits for eyes and wide protruding jaw. This remarkable sculpture reveals the skill and inventiveness of theTaino craftsmen as well as their exceptional beliefs in the connection between the acts of this life and the next.

- (RP.103)


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