About this artwork
Haniwa (literally “clay rings”) were made as funerary sculptures for Japanese nobility. Unlike Chinese tomb figures, which were buried with the deceased in underground chambers, haniwa were placed on the surface of earthen grave mounds. Rows of haniwa, partially submerged in the soil for stability, outlined the sacred contours of a burial site or were set up at its front. This head and torso of a male figure appears to be dancing, perhaps a common event at funeral ceremonies.
- Head and Torso of a Dancing Figure
- 401 CE–700 CE
- 48.3 × 35 × 15.8 cm
- Gift of the Auxiliary Board of the Art Institute of Chicago