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Jamacoaque Pottery Whistle in Form of Standing Lady

Pre-Columbian, Ecuador, Jamacoaque (Jama Coaque) culture, ca. 500 CE. This is an expressive example of an important personage, seated with her hands in her lap, with fine details on hands and feet. She wears a headdress with long lappets, a skirt, and extensive jewelry: many strands of necklaces, earrings and nose rings, and armbands. She has wide, open eyes, and a mouth bared in a toothy grin.The figure is hollow and functions as a whistle. She is one of the best-known aspects of the Jamacoaque (Jama Coaque) artistic legacy, a realistic mold-made pottery figure that is probably a portrait of an individual. She may once have also had gold and/or stone ornaments. Headdresses, jewelry, and styles of dress were all signifiers of rank and social status within many pre-Columbian societies; to a member of the Jamacoaque, this figure probably had even deeper meaning, describing who the woman was. See a very similar, but standing, example of a woman at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Size: 3.25" W x 6.9" H (8.3 cm x 17.5 cm)

Condition: Small loss to one side of headdress

Provenance: Ex-Adeon Gallery, Chicago, IL, acquired prior to 1970.

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