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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Chinesco Style : Chinesco Style (Type D) Nayarit Terracotta Sculpture of a Seated Figure
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Chinesco Style (Type D) Nayarit Terracotta Sculpture of a Seated Figure - PF.4930
Origin: Nayarit, Mexico
Circa: 300 BC to 300 AD
Dimensions: 5.25" (13.3cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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The Chinesco type is a major subgroup of Nayarit, distinguished by heart-shaped heads, subtle modeling and a high degree of realism. This seated figure is naked, and though the sex is not apparent, the face seems more masculine than feminine. The short legs extend straight outwards with the left attached to the left arm, probably intended to serve as a handle. The thumb of the right hand is placed inside the mouth, while long fingers cover the right portion of the chin and lower cheek. The head is the most striking aspect--very narrow at the chin, widening suddenly just above the ears to flare out nearly beyond the shoulders. A wide segmented band around the forehead separates the burnished portion from the rougher non- burnished area, and also gives the impression of wearing a headdress. Nayarit figures are often depicted in domestic scenes and humble activities; in this case eating, or perhaps partaking of substances used in ritual ceremonies. The oval aperture suggests it might have been designed to hold incense sticks, or something similar to a candle. Whatever this fellow's original function, he is as charming today as he must have been centuries ago. - (PF.4930)


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