**Originally Listed At $600**
Pre-Columbian, West Mexico, Colima, ca. 300 BCE to 300 CE. A figural vessel of a thin hunchbacked male figure with a long torso and hands resting on tall knees. The figure wears a necklace and some kind of headdress; the head terminates in an open spout. Drilled holes in the nose and ears may once have had gold ornaments placed through them. Some scholars attribute the hunched back in West Mexican shaft tomb culture to a particular form of tuberculosis; however, hunchbacked people seem to have held a special place in the society, and this representation of a disabled person in the past suggests that the society cared for people with this condition. Size: 5.2" W x 9.85" H (13.2 cm x 25 cm)
Colima, located on Mexico's southwestern coast, was during this time part of the shaft tomb culture, along with neighbors to the north in Jalisco and Nayarit. In this culture, the dead were buried down shafts -- 3 to 20 meters deep -- that were dug vertically or near vertically through the volcanic tuff that makes up the geology of the region. The base of the shaft would open into one or more horizontal chambers with a low ceiling. These shafts were almost always dug beneath a dwelling, probably a family home, and seem to have been used as family mausoleums, housing the remains of many related individuals. This is a figure made to be placed inside those mausoleums, perhaps to mediate between the worlds of the living and the dead.
Provenance: private Mitchell collection, Santa Barbara, California, USA
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