Ear Effigies, One of a Pair
Arts of the Americas
On View: Luce Visible Storage and Study Center, 5th Floor
Preclassic Period or Middle Formative
Collection of Robin B. Martin
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Olmec. Ear Effigies, One of a Pair, 800-500 B.C.E. Jade, 2 1/4 x 1 1/2 in. (5.7 x 3.8 cm). Collection of Robin B. Martin, L77.37.2. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, L77.37.1_L77.37.2_transp5631.jpg)
group, L77.37.1_L77.37.2_transp5631.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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One of a pair of Olmec jade ear effigies. The naturalistic carving of these effigies beautifully conveys the cartilaginous structure and texture of real ears. The holes in the lobes may have held attachments because if they were worn as pendants, the ears would have hung upside down. The function of these isolated, body parts is unknown, although they may have been used as funerary ornaments.
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