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Figure Seated on a Bench with Hands Held to Mouth
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Figure Seated on a Bench with Hands Held to Mouth


Description Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description To connect with spiritual forces during a ritual, shamans wear masks and headdresses. Originally brightly painted, the headdress of this man is in the form of a composite beast, with a bat’s face and a jaguar’s fangs, referencing some of South America’s most awe-inspiring animals. This shaman is about to inhale hallucinogens, initiating a ritual during which he aimed to communicate with animal spirits and mediate his community’s needs. The crocodile-like tail affixed to his belt may reflect the belief that spiritually powerful people can transform into animals.
Exhibitions
  • Crowning Glory: Art of the Americas. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2018.
Provenance Fine Arts of Ancient Lands, New York; Herbert L. Lucas, Los Angeles; Ancient Art of the New World, New York; purchased by a private collection, 1992; given to Walters Art Museum, 2009.
Credit Anonymous gift, 2009

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Creator
Period
300 BCE-800 CE
Medium
earthenware with paint
(Ceramics)
Accession Number
48.2862
Measurements
H: 17 1/2 x W: 8 1/4 x D: 9 3/4 in. (44.5 x 20.9 x 24.8 cm)
Geographies
Location Within Museum
Not On View

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