Mezcala-Chontal standing figures such as the work seen here were often carved from dark green diorite and therefore probably closely associated with fertility and the afterlife. It was likely recycled from a celt, or stone hand axe. This particular figure has distinctive Chontal style “coffee bean” eyes, a flat head, distinctive lips, triangular nose, and arms folded across the torso.
A great deal remains unknown about Mezcala-Chontal traditions that originated in what is now the Mexican state of Guerrero, due to a lack of archaeological excavation and analysis. However, interest in such extraordinary abstract forms has been generated over the past few decades, and scholars are now beginning to glean more knowledge about these remarkable traditions and their context within the broader Mesoamerican world.
[Sotheby’s, New York, November 25, 1996, lot 271];
[Throckmorton Fine Art, New York, NY];
Sotheby’s, New York, Pre-Columbian Art, November 25, 1996, lot 271.