This seated figure was carved with its legs propped against its body with its head inclined back. The head is rounded and oblong in shape with a prominent brow and cuts creating the indented eyes, a slight nose, and mouth. The seated figure may be associated with ideas of fertility and the afterlife, or may be more directly associated with “star or planet gazing,” which would note changes in the cosmos to determine when to plant and harvest the crops central to Mezcala society.
Rarer than standing figures that were fashioned from hand axes, or celts, seated Mezcala figures typically feature a small and rotund shape that suggests the use of an unidentified mottled green stone, pebble, or small cobblestones in the piece’s origin. The simplified facial features of this piece suggest this particular figure was created during the middle phase of the Mezcala tradition.
Spencer Throckmorton Collection, New York, NY;
Gift to The Jan T. and Marica Vilcek Collection;
Meleko Mokgosi receives the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Fine Arts for paintings that rely on intensive research, reflection, and conversation in order to address widespread misrepresentation of Africa and Africans, and to accurately portray the continent’s complex social and political realities.
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