Collections: Arts of the Americas: Female Figurine

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    Female Figurine

    Small anthropomorphic ceramic figurines are the hallmark of the ancient Valdivia culture of the tropical lowlands of western Ecuador. They usually depict nude women with prominent breasts, short arms, elaborate hairstyles, and incised features. Because of their abundance and the fact that they appear to have been intentionally mutilated and discarded with common household rubbish, scholars have suggested two possible functions: as offerings in fertility rituals or as repositories for spirit helpers summoned by shamans during healing ceremonies.

    Pequeñas figurillas antropomórficas de cerámica son el sello de la antigua cultura Valdivia de las tierras bajas tropicales del oeste de Ecuador. Usualmente representan mujeres desnudas con pechos prominentes, brazos cortos, peinados elaborados y rasgos incisos. Por su abundancia y el hecho de que aparecen haber sido intencionalmente mutiladas y desechadas junto con la basura de las casas, académicos han sugerido dos posibles funciones: como ofrendas en rituales de fertilidad, o como recipiente para los espíritus ayudantes llamados por los chamanes en ceremonias curativas.

    This text refers to these objects: ' 76.166.41; 76.166.42

    • Culture: Valdivia
    • Medium: Ceramic
    • Place Found: Guayas Province, Ecuador
    • Dates: 2600-1500 B.C.E.
    • Dimensions: 4 5/16 x 1 1/8 x 5/8 in. (11 x 2.9 x 1.6 cm)  (show scale)
    • Collections:Arts of the Americas
    • Museum Location: This item is on view in Arts of the Americas Galleries, 5th Floor
    • Exhibitions:
    • Accession Number: 76.166.41
    • Credit Line: Gift of Egizia Modiano
    • Rights Statement: Creative Commons-BY
    • Caption: Valdivia. Female Figurine, 2600-1500 B.C.E. Ceramic, 4 5/16 x 1 1/8 x 5/8 in. (11 x 2.9 x 1.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Egizia Modiano, 76.166.41. Creative Commons-BY
    • Image: overall, 76.166.41_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2008
    • Catalogue Description: Small ceramic figurine representing a woman with a large headdress and incised facial features. The lines of the buttocks are incised and the breasts are prominent. The legs, which have protuberances at the back, are articulated and the arms vaguely suggested. CONDITION: good; the legs have been repaired at the hip line.
    • Record Completeness: Best (83%)
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