Work of Art: Standing Male Figure
West Mexican
Nayarit state
Standing Male Figure
circa 200 B.C.E.-300 C.E.
Ceramic with red, white, and black slip paint
21 1/2 x 11 3/4 x 6 1/2 in. (54.6 x 29.8 x 16.5 cm)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. S. J. Levin

Sculptures such as this one were created as tomb offerings and may have represented the deceased's relatives or ancestors. The people of Nayarit dug deep shaft tombs to house the dead. Multiple skeletons found in the large chambers of shaft tombs suggest that each tomb may have been a family crypt. Here a male warrior holds a wide-blade weapon in one hand and a birdlike image in the other. His loincloth includes a conch shell ornament, a costume element frequently worn by this type of warrior figure.

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