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This information was automatically generated from data provided by MOA: University of British Columbia. It has been standardized to aid in finding and grouping information within the RRN. Accuracy and meaning should be verified from the Data Source tab.


Ceramic shaft tomb figure of a squatting male (priest) holding a perforated rattle in his right hand, wearing a headdress; his left hand is raised up, touching his head. Figure's face is long and rectangular in shape. He has a sharp nose and triangular shaped mouth, with his tongue visible. The lips and eyes are carved in low relief. He has large oval-shaped ears with circular earrings. Front of headdress has decorative, raised diagonal lines across it. Body partly painted red. Past breaks and repairs visible on surface; a small triangular piece is missing from the back. Figure is hollow.

History Of Use

These types of hollow, naturalistic redware ceramics have been found in (often elaborate) shaft tombs, a mortuary structure unique to the western Mexican states of Colima, Nayarit and Jalisco. Some experts think the main figure found in such burials may represent a powerful, elite member of the society; other figures may depict retainers sacrificed to accompany that person in the afterlife. Other figures commonly depict warriors, pregnant women, acrobats, male and female couples both seated and standing, and women with children. (The end date of the period is in dispute.)


Purchased by the donor's father from a dealer, while he was visiting the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico in 1960.

Item History

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