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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Mayan Musical Instruments : Mayan Rattle in the Form of a Woman
Mayan Rattle in the Form of a Woman - PF.2311
Origin: Guatemala
Circa: 500 AD to 900 AD
Dimensions: 11" (27.9cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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Ancient Mayan artists excelled in their ability to create stunning objects from clay. This most malleable of mediums was formed into a variety of vessel shapes and striking effigy figures such as this spirited female figure. The artist's keen sense of proportion can be seen in the exaggerated curved shape of the shoulders (one arm reconstructed), wide head and full legs. The striking polychrome surface pattern makes creative use of her bodily shape, with designs on the legs, shoulders and neck accentuating her form. Hints of the rendering of a stylized, animated chief or shaman can be seen on the front portion of the figure's body while a similar figure appears with better clarity on her backside. Her striking visage with its shamanic face painting enhances her venerable aura. A brisk shake of her hollow body reveals a mythical rattling sound, which emanates from strategically placed holes. One can still feel and hear the fertile energy emerging from this powerful creation and imagine the strong effect of her presence in ancient Mayan culture. She is a tangible and lasting testament to the spiritual creativity of all mankind. - (PF.2311)


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