Carved and polished from jadeite, this pendant figure dates from what scholars call the Oaxacan Early Postclassic Period. It is similar in style to other works most likely fashioned for elite use, and like other jade objects found throughout Mesoamerica, the green color was likely associated with maintaining the agricultural cycle.
Between 500 CE and 1500 CE the Mixtec people fashioned a vibrant culture throughout what is now the Mexican state of Oaxaca, building urban centers dominated by alliances between powerful elite families who vied for regional influence. This object may have been created to demonstrate or win such influence among elites.
The Jan T. and Marica Vilcek Collection, 1996-2010;
Gift to The Vilcek Foundation, 2010;