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Jalisco Bichrome Seated Female Holding Bowl

Pre-Columbian, West Mexico, Jalisco, ca. 300 BCE to 300 CE. A fine example of a "sheep face" figure from the West Mexican shaft tomb culture. She has the large head with long nose mirrored in a pointed chin and bulging eyes that is indicative of the style. She wears a headband with an incised design and hols a bowl in one hand; She wears a skirt and is shown seated. Size: 2.4" L x 4.6" W x 6.4" H (6.1 cm x 11.7 cm x 16.3 cm)

In this culture, the dead were buried down shafts -- 3 to 20 meters deep -- that were dug vertically or near vertically through the volcanic tuff that makes up the geology of the region. The base of the shaft would open into one or more horizontal chambers with a low ceiling. These shafts were almost always dug beneath a dwelling, probably a family home, and seem to have been used as family mausoleums, housing the remains of many related individuals. This is a figure made to be placed inside those mausoleums, perhaps to mediate between the worlds of the living and the dead.

Condition: Head repaired

Provenance: private Triffo Collection, acquired in the 1970s

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