Mother and Child Figures
200 BCE - 500 CE
17 5/16 x 10 3/16 x 9 1/16 in. (44 x 25.8 x 23 cm)
Medium and Support:
Marion Stratton Gould Fund
Location: Currently on view
This depiction of a mother nursing her child embodies fertility and abundance. As humans gain sustenance and food from the earth, so the child receives life-sustaining nutrition from the mother.
Modification and adornment of the body were practiced by ancient West Mexico cultures. This figure shows skull shaping, scarification (on the shoulders), teeth filing, and adornment with elaborate ear pendants and arm bands. Skull shaping was accomplished by applying pressure to boards strapped to an infant’s head, resulting in the elongation visible in these two figures. Such modifications manifest a culture’s world view and ideas concerning beauty, status and social identification.
[Gallery label text, 2009]