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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Pre-Columbian Masterpieces : Chupicuaro Sculpture of a Standing Woman
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Chupicuaro Sculpture of a Standing Woman - PF.1967
Origin: Chupicuaro, Mexico
Circa: 350 BC to 250 BC
Dimensions: 4.375" (11.1cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: UAE
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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.

Wearing only some jewelry and an elaborate headdress, this lovely woman appears before us naked and unblusing. Here and there, traces of bright red paint suggest her colorful past. The epitome of feminine beauty, this charming figure seems to belong to an ancient tradition of fertility and abundance. Does she represent a real woman, perhaps the wife of concubine of the chieftain in whose tomb she was buried? Or is she a Goddess, offering the promise of eternal rebirth? Her mystery is part of her charm. She reminds us that the progress of civilization changes few of life's fundamentals. - (PF.1967)


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