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"Horned" Male (Dwarf?)

"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 13/16 x 9 3/4 in.)

Fiftieth anniversary gift of the Womens Council in honor of the Museum's Seventy-fifth anniversary 1991.20

Description

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.

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