Pre-Columbian, Mexico, Olmec period, Tlatilco people, Tlapacoya, ca. 1250 to 800 BCE. A remarkably well-preserved earthenware figure of a standing woman, hand-modeled and painted a chalky white. The figure stands atop tiny, nubbin feet, with the legs quickly widening to ample thighs below a smooth belly. The woman's stance is dancer-like, with her shoulders thrust back and her arms and hands - also nub-like - thrust out to the sides of her hips. Her head leans forward on the neck, her face shown in relief, with a large forehead and a pointed nose. She has a turban-like headdress or coiffure and a raised ovoid dot in the center of her forehead, perhaps meant to show scarification or jewelry. Her ears are pierced and once may have had gold rings or feathers pushed through the holes. Who does this figure represent? A real woman or an idealized figure? Looking at her stylized but still distinctive face, it is easy to imagine that the artist based her on someone he knew. Size: 2.95" W x 6.45" H (7.5 cm x 16.4 cm)
Provenance: private southern California, USA collection, acquired in the 1970s to mid-1980s
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