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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Mayan Sculptures : Mayan Terracotta Figure of a Shaman
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Mayan Terracotta Figure of a Shaman - SP.510
Origin: Guatemala
Circa: 300 AD to 600 AD
Dimensions: 3.25" (8.3cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta
Condition: Very Fine

Location: United States
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Few cultures have enriched the imagination and romance of history quite like the Maya. In a world once presumed to be of nomads and primitives- a civilization with flourishing letters, arts, and exquisite architecture rose from the jungle. This figurine as in its character and personality. The bulging lips and wide nose give him an aggressive and wild aura that is offset by the intelligent prominence of his forehead and the benign levity of his eye. His face seems to explode forth out of his headdress, the pointed cap, intended to capture the spirit of the gods from the air- tilted askance. The broad sweep of his collar cuts over his narrow shoulders and dashes forth into two arms perched over his stout body. The greatest masterworks of human form encapsulate not canons or ideals but the very specific and imperfect nature of our faces and bodies. This figure, with its hat so precariously perched, its odd friendliness, its stout presence, is infinitely more vital, arresting, and moving than any cookie cutter manifestation of the ideal figure. The sculptor of this piece managed to impress upon this clay a person he knew and loved- in all of their uniqueness and individuality. To hold it in our hands is to experience the culture of the Maya , the grace of a sculptor, and the vivid presence of a very real human being all calling forth from the sands of 1500 years. - (SP.510)


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