Description The Coahuayana River Valley was home to many large villages and towns, and their artists produced a distinctive local version of the large, hollow tomb figure. Coahuayana figural art is characterized by elegant renderings of persons of authority. Most portrayals lack individuality and instead serve as sculptural representations of social position or political rank. This seated female's serene countenance, shoulder scarification patterns, necklace, and pierced ears denote a person of high status. The artist accentuated the figure with red slip, enhancing her hair, forearms, and legs below the knee. Her identification as a person of authority is further indicated by her sitting on a four-legged stool or bench; this type of seating was closely associated with elevated status throughout the ancient Americas. She raises a small dish in her right hand as if proffering its contents to unseen persons, perhaps participants in an aristocratic feasting event.
- Art of Ancient America, 1500 B.C.-1400 A.D.. Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe. 1998-2008.
- Exploring Art of the Ancient Americas: The John Bourne Collection Gift. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville. 2012-2013.
Provenance Stendahl Galleries, Los Angeles [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; John G. Bourne, 1940s, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 2009, by gift.
Credit Gift of John Bourne, 2009
Download Image Add to Collection Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Creative Commons License