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Pre-Columbian Nayarit Warrior with Staff

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Pre-Columbian Nayarit Warrior with Staff

- Item No.

Item Details

  • Width:
    5 1/2" Inches
  • Height:
    17 1/2" Inches
  • Period:
    Pre-18th Century
  • Origin:
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 Nayarit, Jalisco, and Colima figures of warriors are ubiquitous. They are often modeled with a protective armor of woven basketry and leather and holding batons across their chests or wielding spears or slings. The fact that images of warriors appeared in tombs throughout West Mexico speaks of the importance of raiding and small-scale warfare, the rise of powerful chieftains and the importance of commemorating these rituals with tomb sculptures. Warriors in Mesoamerica occupied positions of prestige and the taking of heads and the capturing of prisoners for sacrifice were acted as symbolic trophies for the acquisition of power.

In addition to his obvious status as a warrior, other iconography on this Nayarit warrior figure indicates that it was meant to represent a chieftain as well.  Most seated figures in West Mexican art represent nobility and the figure also holds a baton that represents both rulership and artillery.

Nayarit figures, such as this one, have certain recognizable characteristics.  The body, clothing and ritual costume of these figures are heavily adorned with numerous tattoos, multiple body piercings, and decorative clothing.  This is represented by very detailed geometric designs applied to the earthenware.

Placed in a shaft tomb, figures such as this warrior 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 indicated the burial site of a person of superior status and commemorated their life and achievements.

Circa, 200 BC-400 AD

5 1/2" wide x 17 1/2" high

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Price: $9,850
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