Relatively large and intricately worked, the standing figure seen here reflects many elements of the Mezcala-Chontal tradition fused together in a masterfully created piece. For example, the “coffee bean” eyes, prominent eyebrows, “hairline,” hollowed-out arms, and defined body are all expertly worked. These elements likely place the piece’s creation toward the later period of the tradition, according to the analysis of Mezcala experts such as Carlos Gay.
This standing figure represents a transition period when earlier abstract features more associated with the Mezcala tradition were becoming more naturalistic, as in the Chontal tradition. While many Mezcala-Chontal figures were fashioned from earlier stone axes or blades, this particular object was likely too large to have functioned in that manner and therefore probably had more ritual importance.
Reinhard Kistermann Collection, Caracas, Venezuela, 1969-2003;
The Jan T. and Marica Vilcek Collection, 2003-2010;
Gift to The Vilcek Foundation, 2010;
Curnoe, Jessica, Gillett G. Griffin, and Peter T. Furst. Sculpture and Cosmology in Ancient Guerrero. New York, NY: Throckmorton Fine Art, 2008, ill. fig. 35.