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Pre-Columbian Colima Seated Figure 

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Pre-Columbian Colima Seated Figure 

- Item No.

Key Features

  • Significant iconography combined with exquisite craftsmanship informs this Pre-Columbian figure
  • Placed in a shaft tomb, figures such as this were meant to accompany the deceased in the afterlife
  • The figure's seated position on a stool indicates that she held a privileged position in society

Item Details

  • Width:
    13 Inches
  • Height:
    17 Inches
  • Period:
  • Origin:
    Not Applicable
Although West Mexican shaft tomb sculptures appear not to have representations of deities there is evidence that they represent a series of important rites of passage, such as funerals, marriages, and initiations of warriors and chieftains.

In Colima, Nayarit, and Jalisco we see evidence of couples, pairs of males and females who are most often seated, sometimes standing and occasionally modeled as one unit. This monumental figure from Colima is almost certainly the female member of a Coahuayana ancestral pair.

Figural ceramics from this region, located between Colima and Michoacán differ from typical Colima wares in their expressionistic treatment of the body and face. Typical features of this style include a flaring rim at the top of the open head, the inclusion of a bench, and the use of a brownish slip.

A figure such as this exquisite Colima seated female would have represented not a deity but an actual woman of status engaged in an important rite of passage such as the commemoration of a marriage or an annual festival honoring the ancestors. In both instances both or either of the pair of figures would be holding bowls as either the representative marriage-cup vessel or the bowl of symbolic offerings for the ancestors. Unlike other similar figures this figure does not hold a bowl but instead rests the palms of both hands firmly on her legs. This gesture is seen frequently in Mesoamerican art in objects going through shamanic transformations or in other states of spiritual reverie.

The Colima figure's stance, as well as her seated position on a stool, indicates that she held a privileged position in her social structure. Female figures, such as this, that were one of a pair, are usually as large (or larger) than their male counterparts giving us insight into the importance of their role in West Mexican society.

Placed in a shaft tomb, figures such as this one were meant to accompany the deceased in the afterlife, where they would continue to require the symbols of social position that they did when they were living. Figural sculptures such as this one indicated the burial site of a person of superior status and commemorated their life and achievements.

Circa, 300 BC-400 AD

13" wide x 17" high

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Price: $24,850
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