This polychrome painted ceramic depicting a seated woman is associated with the Zacatecas culture, which scholars consider to be at the northern cultural frontier of Mesoamerica. This figure is hollow and was likely created with a mold. It displays outstretched arms with its hands situated on the figure’s hips. The abstract representation reveals a distinct open mouth, large eyebrows, earplugs, and perhaps body paint or a tattoo. The painted designs on the body may also represent a necklace and clothing.
Zacatecas sites such as La Quemada, built high on cliffs and encircled by stone walls, boasted temples, sunken courtyards, and Mesoamerican ball courts. The area was also connected by roads to other cultures and some scholars believe it was colonized by Mesoamericans. Archaeological finds demonstrate extensive influence from Teotihuacan.
[Joan Barist, Primitive Art, LLC, New York, NY];
Valeria Luiselli receives the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Literature for intelligent, distinctive fiction and nonfiction that interrogates the United States’ immigration system, and bears witness to those left voiceless by mass deportation.
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