Description The feast was a critical part of sociopolitics throughout ancient Mesoamerica. It was a forum for cementing alliances, forging new relationships, and strengthening obligations of reciprocity; it also served as a mechanism for redistributing goods, which enhanced the host's prestige and stimulated production and use. This seated figure is not only an excellent technical achievement but also a compelling artwork whose narrative underscores the importance of the feast to West Mexican social politics. This figure may be identified as an attendant at a feast, cradling a large vessel. The container would have held such foods as savory tamales, atole (maize cereal), or any number of other foods that during ancient, Colonial, and modern times constituted appropriate formal banquet fare.
- Art of Ancient America, 1500 B.C.-1400 A.D.. Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe. 1998-2008.
Provenance Stendahl Galleries, Los Angeles [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; John G. Bourne, 1970s, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 2009, by gift.
Credit Gift of John Bourne, 2009
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