Figure of a Seated Chieftain

A work made of ceramic and pigment.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of ceramic and pigment.

Date:

100 B.C./A.D. 250

Artist:

Nayarit
Lagunillas area, Nayarit, Mexico

About this artwork

Large terracotta figures were made to accompany the remains of high-ranking people in ancient West Mexican tombs. Figures are often found in male-and-female pairs, likely commemorating the marriage of the deceased. Nayarit artists also depicted other major rites of passage, such as the presentation of a baby, the initiation of warriors and chiefs, young women reaching the age of courtship and marriage, and funerary rites. Such tomb figures testified to the earthly status of the deceased, qualifying the individual as a venerable ancestor-spirit expected to intercede with cosmic forces on behalf of the living community.

On View

Arts of the Americas, Gallery 136

Culture

Nayarit

Title

Figure of a Seated Chieftain

Origin

Nayarit

Date

100 BC–250 AD

Medium

Ceramic and pigment

Dimensions

71.8 × 33 cm (28 1/4 × 13 in.)

Credit Line

Ada Turnbull Hertle Endowment

Reference Number

1998.503

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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