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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Mayan Sculptures : Mayan Human Effigy Whistle with Articulated Arm
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Mayan Human Effigy Whistle with Articulated Arm - PF.3553
Origin: Guatemala
Circa: 6 th Century AD to 9 th Century AD
Dimensions: 9" (22.9cm) high x 5.5" (14.0cm) wide
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: UAE
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The summit of the classical age in Ancient Mesoamerica, was reached by the Maya in their great temple cities. In those temple cities, great artistic expressions such as murals and sculptures flourished. It is during this classical period in which artists refined their skills to represent human form, deities, and other symbolic figures. Used in various rituals and ceremonies, their art embodied rich symbolism, laden with complex meanings, which largely remain esoteric. This remarkably sculpted terra-cotta human figure is a whistle. In a rich, creamy beige color, the sculpture depicts an intricately sculpted seated figure with Mayan physical traits--the large eyes, hooked nose, and a fleshy mouth. This indicates status and rank, the figure wears large ear-flares and a beaded necklace. Such a beautiful whistle was most likely used as a musical instrument in rituals or ceremonies. Along with the rare conch-shell trumpets, perhaps this whistle was played to entertain a Mayan ruler. As we look into the precious whistle, we can envision a mystical ritual scene or a mayan ruler in an elaborately decorated court. And we can imagine the fascinating musical sound enchanting the ancient people of Maya. - (PF.3553)


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