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About This Artwork
Head of a Warrior, 6th century
Kofun period (mid 3rd-6th century A.D.)
25.5 x 15.5 x 12.2 cm (10 x 6 1/8 x 4 3/4 in.)
Purchased with Funds Provided by the Weston Foundation; Alyce and Edwin DeCosta and the Walter E. Heller Foundation Fund; Robert Allerton Trust, 2009.629
This head of a warrior from an earthenware tomb figurine (haniwa) is from the late Kofun (literally “old burial mound”) period (A.D. mid-3rd/6th century), which is typified by a complex hierarchical society with advanced burial rituals. Several burial mounds or tumuli for chieftains and emperors still exist today, particularly around the Nara area, and it is from such locations that haniwa figurines have been excavated. From the fifth century A.D., haniwa were made in a multitude of representational forms, including male and female figures, animals, and houses.
The calm expression and symmetrical facial features of this sculpture make it one of the most dignified extant haniwa heads. It was once in the collection of the famed potter Hamada Shoji.
— Permanent collection label
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