Exhibitions: Life, Death, and Transformation in the Americas

Standing Figurines

These eight figurines were found inside a ceramic vessel near Sanders, Arizona, but the context of the discovery site is unknown. Their facial features, thin arms, and angular postures point to a Mimbres origin. Similar stone figurines have been discovered in the region in a variety of archaeological contexts, including a burial, a domestic room, and a trash mound. The open mouths suggest some form of communication and the objects’ small size indicates personal use, but questions remain: Were the objects used for rituals, burial offerings, or as treasured possessions? Were they discarded after one use?