Culture: Possibly Mimbres, Native American
Medium: Stone, pigment
- Place Collected: Sanders, Arizona, United States
- Dates: 1100-1000 B.C.E.
- Dimensions: 3 x 1 3/4 x 3/4 in. (7.6 x 4.4 x 1.9 cm)
These eight figurines were found inside a ceramic vessel near Sanders, Arizona, but the context of the discovery site is unknown. Their facial features, thin arms, and angular postures point to a Mimbres origin. Similar stone figurines have been discovered in the region in a variety of archaeological contexts, including a burial, a domestic room, and a trash mound. The open mouths suggest some form of communication, and the objects’ small size indicates personal use, but questions remain: Were the objects used for rituals or burial offerings, or as treasured possessions? Were they discarded after one use?
via > brooklynmuseum.org
Quimbaya Style Figurine
The Spanish Conquistadors melted down many Andean gold objects; most of what we now have are objects found at the bottom of sacred Columbian lakes, where they were thrown as sacrifices to water deities; she holds flowers in both hands.
Fertility Goddess, 1450-1521
Stone with traces of pigment
Latecomers to the central valley of Mexico, arriving in the thirteenth century, the Aztecs soon conquered many of their neighbors and created a vast empire. Their capital, Tenochtitlán, now buried under Mexico City, supported over two hundred thousand inhabitants at the time of the Spanish Conquest in the early sixteenth century. The artistic achievements of the Aztec tribe range from imposing monolithic stone sculpture to delicate featherwork. This small statue is one of the many representations of fertility deities found in stone sculptures and painted codices. She is adorned with two ears of corn in her hair, symbols of the maize goddess; a five-blossom headband and a jade necklace, attributes of the water goddess; and, two signs of fertility: the double black stripes on her cheeks and a dusting of red pigment. Her pointed cape is unexpectedly plain.
via > worcesterart.org