The outstanding Mezcala figure seen here was carved and polished from an unidentified dark green stone. The piece is especially notable for the particular combination of work that comes together to create the overall abstract human form: the ears, represented by vertical cuts on each side of the head; prominent eyebrows; cuts to create eyes; slight nose; and open mouth. Angled cuts further indicate arms, while the legs are created by a deep vertical incision in what likely used to be the blade of a celt, or hand axe, from which figures like this were usually recycled. The style of this figure has led scholars to argue that this work was created during earlier phases of the Mezcala tradition.
A great deal remains unknown about Mezcala-Chontal traditions originating 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 who believe such objects were used in rituals related to burials are now beginning to glean more knowledge about these remarkable traditions and their context within the broader Mesoamerican world
[Throckmorton Fine Art, New York, NY];
The Jan T. and Marica Vilcek Collection, 2007-2010;
Gift to The Vilcek Foundation, 2010;