Results 1 1043
495 Previous Next

Male Figure, Possibly with Dwarfism
Additional Views Explore Object
Creative Commons License

Male Figure, Possibly with Dwarfism


Description Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description Individuals with dwarfism played an interesting role in Egyptian society since Predynastic times. Dwarfism--a genetic condition characterized by unusually short stature and shortened limbs--is frequently represented in Egyptian tomb reliefs and statues. People with dwarfism were believed, because of their unusual appearance, to have supernatural powers and a special relation to the gods, and some could hold important positions in the administration of the ancient Egyptian government, they also worked as jewelers, and performed in special rituals (in which they were called "god's dancers"). Figurines depicting people with dwarfism were used as amulets and have been found in tombs as well as in ritual places. This statuette of a nude male seems to be depicted with the characteristics of dwarfism. His hands are clasped and resting on his chest; a cylindrical hole through the hands was once used to hold a staff. A square tapering cavity has been cut into the head, probably for the attachment of a headdress. The feet are broken off above the ankles. The knees are bent and it is possible to interpret the posture as dancing. A grouped statuette of three dancing figures with dwarfism from the Middle Kingdom that was excavated at Lisht displays similar postures.
Exhibitions
  • Daily Magic in Ancient Egypt. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2006-2007.
Provenance Henry Walters, Baltimore [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters

Download Image Add to Collection Creative Commons License

Creator
Period
2212-2150 BCE (Late Old Kingdom)
Medium
hippopotamus ivory
(Ivory & Bone)
Accession Number
71.504
Measurements
H: 3 1/16 x W: 1 3/16 x D: 7/8 in. (7.8 x 2.99 x 2.3 cm)
Geographies
  • Egypt (Place of Origin)
Location Within Museum
Not On View

Tags


    Thumbnail: Male Figure, Possibly with Dwarfism Thumbnail: Male Figure, Possibly with Dwarfism Thumbnail: Male Figure, Possibly with Dwarfism Thumbnail: Male Figure, Possibly with Dwarfism Thumbnail: Male Figure, Possibly with Dwarfism
    Zoom Out Zoom In Back to Details  
    Full Size: Male Figure, Possibly with Dwarfism