Pre-Columbian, Colombia, Zenu / Sinu peoples, ca. 800 to 1200 CE. A lovely depiction of maternal love, this hand-built ceramic figural pair presents a nurturing mother holding a child in her arms, the infant clutching onto his mother's breast as if about to nurse. Both figures present heart-shaped heads with tranquil visages comprised of large, coffee bean shaped eyes, prominent naturalistic noses, gently smiling lips, and pierced ears, presumably for suspending ornaments. Though nude from the waist up, the woman wears a stunning skirt with three carved registers of stylized geometric motifs inspired by textile designs. Details are finely incised and highlighted with black pigment. The Sinu tribe lived in the inland delta along the modern day Colombian coast of the Caribbean Sea. Their famous goldsmithing talents drew the Spaniards to their region; however, they also created a wide range of ceramic sculptures that skillfully depict animal and human figures like this example. Size: 4.125" W x 8.25" H (10.5 cm x 21 cm)
Provenance: private Vaught collection, Atlanta, Georgia USA
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