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Haniwa Figure of a Shamaness

Haniwa (literally, "clay ring") sculptures were made in a variety of forms: models of houses, human figures, animals, and a multitude of military, ceremonial, and household objects. Haniwa were placed on the exterior surface of the tomb mound rather than buried in the chamber with the deceased. This outstanding haniwa represents a priestess who presided over the funeral ceremony, which went on for several days, with eating, drinking, and entertainment.

Catalogue Description:
Three-quarter length standing figure of a priestess, who would have presided over the funeral ceremonies of a Yamato chieftain. She wears a coat-like robe closed diagonally across the chest and having a flaring lower edge. She has a string of beads around her neck and a flat, crescent-shaped headdress. Material: Buff earthenware with traces of red iron-oxide pigment on the lower robe, neck, cheeks, eyebrows, and forehead.


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