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Intriguing Colima Rotund Perhaps Pregnant Figure

Pre-Columbian, West Mexico, Colima, ca. 300 BCE to 300 CE. A very unusual bichrome pottery human effigy figure presenting an androgenous gender identity, with a pronounced belly, adorned with vertical red and orange striped tattoo marks or body paint, and an enlarged navel - this form suggestive of a pregnant belly. At the same time, the figure appears to possess a small penis and does not present any breasts. Note the attenuated arms and legs; these serve to focus our attention on the grand protruding abdominal area and/or womb. The figure's visage puts forth a calm, focussed demeanor with closed coffee-bean shaped eyes, a straight and rather noble looking nose, a slit mouth that is slightly open, lozenge-shaped ears that are perforated for the suspension of ornaments, and a tripartite coiffure of incised, straight hair. A wonderful example that supports recent research by Rosemary A. Joyce of the University of California, Berkeley who has argued that European accounts attest to "highly fluid Mesoamerican ideology of gender, which is not an essential, innate, and immutable quality in the classic European mode, but rather produced, from an original androgeny or encompassment of sexual possibilities, by creative action in mythological time and recreated by social means in individual time." (Joyce, "Negotiating Sex and Gender in Classic Maya Society," 2001). An intriguing human effigy that speaks to the fluidity of gender constructs in the Pre-Columbian world. Size: 5.25" L x 7" W x 9.5" H (13.3 cm x 17.8 cm x 24.1 cm)

Condition: Small loss to figure's right hand as shown. Expected surface wear with encrustation, mineral deposits, and root marks as shown.

Provenance: Ex-Mitchell collection

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