Description This highly polished ceramic work is both a sculpture and a functional vessel. It shows a seated man, with a bunched fist or ball held in one hand and the other held to his mouth, either blowing a whistle or in the midst of ingesting something. This figure may show a shaman or warrior, due to his crested helmet. While the meaning of this vessel is somewhat elusive, these ceramics in general were used as grave offerings in the shaft tombs of West Mexico. There, families worked hard to build deep shafts from 10-30 feet into the ground, building burial chambers for their ancestors. They would be filled with replicas of food and family.
Provenance John G. Bourne [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; by bequest to Walters Art Museum, 2017.
Credit Bequest of John G. Bourne, 2017
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