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Artist/Maker: Maya (archaeological culture) (Mesoamerica)

Date: ca. 600-900
Medium: pottery and pigment
Overall: 7 1/8 x 3 3/4 x 2 in. (18.1 x 9.5 x 5.1 cm)
Classification: Musical Instruments
Credit Line: Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Allan A. Kaplan
Object number: 85.0067
DescriptionThe island of Jaina, off the coast of Campeche in the Yucatán peninsula, is well known for the beautiful and realistic ceramic portraits of elite Maya women and men known to have come from burials on the island. Jaina may have been a symbolic portal to the otherworld and only select, high-status individuals were allowed to be interred there. This lovely figurine is a portrait of a high-status woman, perhaps a queen. The unbroken profile and almond shaped eyes are illustrative of Classic Maya ideals of female beauty. Her elaborate, floor-length dress, or Maya huipil, is embellished with embroidery and paint, and her hair has been arranged in a sophisticated fashion. She wears jade jewels and carries a small rattle. This mold-made figurine is itself a rattle, with small ceramic balls inside that, through their sound, indicated the figurine was alive. Similarities in modeling suggest connections to figurines of Central Veracruz.
Not on view