Pre-Columbian, Ecuador, Chorrera culture, ca. 9th to 4th century BCE. A wonderful functioning human figural whistle, hand-built from terracotta and slipped with white over the body and what might have been a dark red pigment on the necklace and ears. The figure stands with hands on hips, seemingly wearing nothing but an impressive multi-stranded, heavy necklace, and multiple earrings. The face has narrowed eyes and mouth, a large nose, and no discernible hair. A drilled area above one hand suggests it once held an ornament or crown. Size: 5.6" W x 10.5" H (14.2 cm x 26.7 cm)
This figure is in excellent condition! Chorrera ceramics like this one often have well-finished surfaces; they represent a culture that spanned from the desert to the sea but had a fairly uniform artistic tradition. Chorrera art, like Valdivian art before it, was focused on detailed representations of the human body, often without much ornament; archaeologists have interpreted this to mean that their society was relatively egalitarian in contrast to their successors, the Jamacoaque, who used their sculptures to demonstrate detailed clothing and headdresses, which are usually signs of social status.
Provenance: Ex- Private Atlanta, GA collection
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