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Figure

MOA: University of British Columbia

3409/1

Ceramic shaft tomb figure of a squatting male (priest) holding a perforated rattle in his right hand, wearing a headdress; his left hand is raised up, touching his head. Figure's face is long and rectangular in shape. He has a sharp nose and triangular shaped mouth, with his tongue visible. The lips and eyes are carved in low relief. He has large oval-shaped ears with circular earrings. Front of headdress has decorative, raised diagonal lines across it. Body partly painted red. Past breaks and repairs visible on surface; a small triangular piece is missing from the back. Figure is hollow.

  • Cultural Context

    The Western Mexico shaft tomb tradition refers to a set of shared cultural traits found in the western Mexican states of Jalisco, Nayarit, and Colima, dating to the period from roughly 300 BCE to 400 CE* (*note: end date in dispute).

  • Narrative

    Purchased by the donor's father from a dealer, while he was visiting the Yucat√°n Peninsula, Mexico in 1960.


  • Type of Item figure
  • Culture Western Mexico
  • Material clay, paint, adhesive
  • Measurements height 29.0 cm, width 22.0 cm, depth 16.0 cm (overall)

  • Previous Owner John Nightingale
  • Received from John Nightingale

  • Made in Jalisco, Nayarit

  • Creation Date between 1 and 1500
  • Collection Date during 1960
  • Ownership Date before December 5, 2019
  • Acquisition Date on December 5, 2019

  • Item Classes ceramics
  • Condition fair
  • Accession Number 3409/0001