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Female Figure

This female figure, shown in a long white skirt, was found in a tomb. Does she represent a goddess, a priestess, or a mourner? Is she grieving, dancing, or manifesting her power? Why are her feet not shown, and why is her head reduced to a birdlike beak? This striking statuette, one of the most famous Predynastic works in the world, raises questions that we may never be able to answer.

Catalogue Description:
Pottery figurine of a woman. Small head, with beak-like face, on long neck, expanding to shoulders. Rather long breasts. Waist gracefully curving into uplifted arms with hands turned in and pointed; thumbs detached; fingers, separated by sharp grooves on both sides, and graded in length naturalistically; wrists and elbows not indicated. Legs without feet, peg-shaped, their separation indicated by extremely shallow groove. Proportions rather natural. "Steatopygy" pronounced; torso flat. Fine brownish pottery, painted red on body, black, very thickly laid on, on hair; whitish, indicating cloth, from hips down; blackened near "feet" in front. Very fine specimen. Condition: Lacking both thumbs, finger-tips of right hand. Right arm repaired at elbow. Lower part repaired above knees. White painting almost entirely gone. Much of "hair" lost. Seemingly some repainting on torso.

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