The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of February 25, 2018

"Horned" Male (Dwarf?), 100 BC-AD 300

earthenware with colored slips, black burial deposits, Overall: 41.5 x 24.9 x 24.7 cm (16 5/16 x 9 3/4 x 9 11/16 in.). Fiftieth anniversary gift of the Womens Council in honor of the Museum's Seventy-fifth anniversary 1991.20

This figure’s concentrated, otherworldly expression is emphasized by the horn-like element strapped to
his forehead. This "horn" may be the spire of a conch shell, which comes from water and, therefore, refers to fertility-likely an important ritual concern of West Mexican chiefs. (A conch shell vessel also appears in this case.) The element also could represent the "horn of power" worn in some areas of the world by shamans, the spiritual leaders and healers of small, non-industrial societies.

Cleveland, OH: The Cleveland Museum of Art; October 27, 1992- January 3 and 17, 1993. "Signs of Affection: Gifts Honoring The Museum's Seventy- Fifth Anniversary." Chicago, IL: The Art Institute of Chicago; September 2- November 22, 1998. Los Angeles, CA: The Los Angeles County Museum of Art; December 20, 1998- March 29, 1999. "The Art and Archaeology of Ancient West Mexico." exh. cat. 39, repr. pp. 178-179, fig. 18.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Detail Views